Earlier, KL Rahul who took on the wicketkeeping duties for the first time in a Test series during India's tour of South Africa, is said to have been relieved of this responsibility. Despite showcasing impressive skills as a wicket-keeper, Rahul is reportedly not slated to fulfil the role of a wicket-keeper batter in the upcoming 5-match Test series against England. The India Cricket Board selection committee and the team management are now considering specialist wicket-keeper KS Bharat to assume that role in the forthcoming series.
The Indian Cricket Board revealed the squad for the initial two Tests against England, selecting KS Bharat and Dhruv Jurel for the wicket-keeper positions, with the latter securing his first Test call-up. According to reports, the board believes that Rahul may not be suitable for the wicketkeeper's role on spin-friendly home pitches. Consequently, they have opted for two specialists to take on the responsibility.
"Rahul will play as a specialist batter from now on. While in overseas Tests you just have to stand back to the pacers, wicketkeeping in India, where spinners operate in tandem, isn't easy. The ball can bounce or spin viciously on the spin-friendly home wickets. You've to keep moving up and down as a keeper. We want a specialist in that role. Rahul, on the other hand, is one of our most valuable batting assets. We don't want to burn him out by making him do the glovework as well. There is also the chance of him catching an injury while standing behind the stumps, which we can't afford. Bharat and Jurel will be our wicketkeepers in this series,” a source from the Indian Cricket Board said as reported by NDTV Sports.
Jurel is a talented keeper-bat: Source
Earlier, a report from the Indian Express also affirmed the team's plan to utilize Rahul solely as a specialist batter in the Test series against England. The source even stated that Jurel is a talented keeper-bat and they've been tracking this 22-year-old since the time he was playing for India in the U-19 team.
" Jurel is a talented keeper-bat. We've been tracking this 22-year-old since the time he was playing for India in the U-19 team. The Indian team will once again be playing on a turner track, and the team management felt that specialist spinners should handle the job at home. The team has many quality spinners, and the team won't take any chances, especially when the pitch being offered will be a turner," the source concluded.