If Gilchrist, Sangakkara could do it, why can’t KL Rahul, asks Salman Butt on keeper-opener role

With Rohit Sharma injuring his thumb, India decided to send former skipper Virat Kohli to open with Shikhar Dhawan in the second ODI against Bangladesh in Dhaka.

But both Kohli and Dhawan failed to give the team a good start and India went on to suffer a narrow five-run defeat against the hosts and lost the series 2-0.

The decision to send Kohli instead of regular opener K.L Rahul, who is also discharging the role of the wicketkeeper as Rishabh Pant has been rested for the ODIs, surprised many including former Pakistan captain Salman Butt.

Butt said Rahul should have opened for the side since he had been a specialist opener for the Indian team in the shortest format of the game.

In an analysis of India’s defeat to Bangladesh in the series on his official Youtube channel, Butt said the Indian team management should not have tried to shield Rahul as the keeper-opener role has been essayed quite successfully by the likes of Australia’s Adam Gilchrist, Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara and currently Quinton de Kock does it for South Africa.

“Rohit Sharma ko injury hui, toh obviously Virat Kohli ne open kiya. Aapke paas KL Rahul regular opener hain, vo kyun nahi gaye open karne? Ispe behes ye hogi ki unhone wicketkeeping ki hui thi. Duniya me bohot saare players hain jo wicketkeeping ke saath open karte hain. Adam Gilchrist karte rahe, Kumar Sangakkara karte rahe, Quinton de Kock karte hain, kya ye utne fit nahi hain? Ajeeb si baat hai. (Rohit Sharma got injured and Virat Kohli opened. But you have a regular opener in KL Rahul, why did he not open? Some will argue that Rahul had kept wickets, but there have been a lot of players who have opened for the side after keeping wickets, like Gilchrist, Sangakkara and Quinton de Kock. Is Rahul not as fit as them? It’s very weird),” Butt said.

“Cheezein settled nahi hain. Aisa lagta hai ki practice chal rahi hai (things are not settled. It seems India were taking it as a practice match),” the former Pakistan captain further added.

Butt was not surprised at Bangladesh beating India in successive ODIs and taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series as they are quite a strong side in home conditions.

He said Bangladesh at home have defeated teams like Pakistan, West Indies and New Zealand besides India in the last few years and are unbeaten at home for many years.




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