KL Rahul very keen on giving wicketkeeping a go: Rahul Dravid

KL Rahul, who has previously featured as the designated wicketkeeper in just one first-class match, is now preparing to take on the same duties in India’s two-Test series in South Africa. The first match is scheduled at the SuperSport Park Cricket Stadium in Centurion from Tuesday, December 26.

Leading up to the opening Test, India’s head coach, Rahul Dravid, discussed the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Rahul in his new role. Dravid highlighted the 31-year-old’s confidence and eagerness to don the gloves during this pivotal Test series.

“I see it as an exciting challenge and an opportunity for him to certainly do something different. With Ishan [Kishan] not being available, the opportunity came up. We have a couple of keepers we can choose from. Rahul is certainly one. We have had this discussion with him, we’ve discussed this with him.”

“You know, he is very confident, he is very keen on giving it a go. We do understand that it’s probably something he has not done as often. He has been doing it regularly in 50-overs cricket. So that’s certainly tough, you know, to play 50 overs and then bat as well in a full day. That can take a lot out of your body,” Dravid was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

The former cricketer also stated that Rahul’s commendable performance behind the stumps, even in white-ball cricket, indicates well for his transition to Tests. Notably, with the absence of the injured Rishabh Pant, a new opportunity has presented itself for Rahul. It’s noteworthy that India is confident in their wicketkeeper making valuable contributions with the bat.

“So he has prepared well, I must say, over the last five, six months. He has done a lot of keeping, even though it’s in the white-ball format. But this will be a new and exciting challenge for him as well. I guess one of the things here is that if anything there is not going to be that much of spin bowling. Probably more pace bowling here than there is spin, so it will ease him into that role a little bit if anything,” he added.

“It’s something that we will see how it goes and how it pans out, but it’s really nice to have someone like him and the options that he provides us. Just having his ability with the bat would be something that would be really useful. And let’s see how he goes with the gloves. I mean, he has kept really well in one-day cricket. So just a question of now transferring that into red-ball cricket for longer,” the 50-year-old further said.