KL Rahul’s transformation from opener to middle order batter gets underway

KL Rahul’s expedition to South Africa will signify a pivotal juncture in his cricketing voyage as he will gear up to lead the Indian squad in the ODI series and don gloves in Tests against the Proteas. This shift will mark a significant transition for Rahul, evolving into a wicketkeeper-batter from his conventional role as an opener. While it might be premature to label this as the turnaround for him, it undoubtedly heralds a fresh chapter in his cricketing odyssey.

Speculations abound that the star batter will not only don the gloves in the upcoming ODIs but is also poised to take up wicketkeeping duties in the Test matches. Despite Ishan Kishan securing a spot in the 16-man squad, insider information hinted at Rahul being the preferred choice for the wicketkeeping role, extending his command from ODIs into Tests.

In the forthcoming months, especially during the South Africa and England Test series along with the Indian Premier League, the Karnataka batter’s transformation into a middle-order batter will be under the scanner. While his recent Test outing saw him as an opener against Australia in New Delhi, he seemed determined to solidify his position as a wicketkeeper-middle-order batter.

Rahul’s middle-order batter transition also extends to Lucknow Super Giants

The transition to keeping gloves often aligns with a middle-order batting spot in Tests, but the 31-year-old will be diligently working on improving his strike rate to seamlessly fit into this new role across formats. Despite primarily opening for Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL, he is anticipated to shuffle into the middle order for the upcoming season.

Reports suggest that the Bangalore-born cricketer has been actively engaging in discussions with team management, including captain Rohit Sharma, coach Rahul Dravid, and chief selector Ajit Agarkar. His aim remains clear: securing a middle-order position consistently across formats, even reinstating his spot in Twenty20 Internationals, which he had lost earlier. It’s understood that he will be aiming to represent the country at the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup.