KL Rahul Frontrunner To Lead In New Zealand T20Is Series At Home, Fans May Return

KL Rahul Frontrunner To Lead In New Zealand T20Is Series At Home, Fans May Return

KL Rahul Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
KL Rahul Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

KL Rahul could don the captain’s hat as keeping in mind the players’ fatigue due to the bio- bubble life, some senior players will be rested for the T20I series against New Zealand. The performance of the Indian cricket team in the T20 World Cup has been anything but satisfactory so far.

A source in the know confirmed that KL Rahul is the front runner for the job.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul-Reuters.

KL Rahul May Be Assigned Captaincy For NZ Limited Over Series As Seniors Need A Breather From Bio Bubble

KL Rahul won the orange cap scoring 670 runs at an average of 55.83 in IPL 2020, and followed it up by scoring 626 runs averaging 62.6 in 13 IPL 2021 games. KL Rahul finished as 3rd highest run-getter behind CSK’s openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis in IPL 2021.

“The seniors would need a breather and it is no secret that KL Rahul is an integral part of the team’s T20 structure. He is almost certain to lead,” the source said.

Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)
Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Interestingly, fans will return to the stadium for the series, but with an eye on the COVID-19 protocols. The tour will begin on November 17 with a T20 series – Jaipur will host the first game, followed by Ranchi and Kolkata. The two-match Test series will be played in Kanpur and Kolkata between November 25 and December 7.

“Yes, we will have fans coming in, but it won’t be full capacity. We will work closely with the local authorities and plan the way forward,” a BCCI official said.

Having lost both the matches against Pakistan and New Zealand in the tournament so far, the chances of Virat Kohli and co qualifying for the semis are very slim. Considering the number of matches the Indian players have been playing since the World Test Championship final, senior players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be rested for the New Zealand T20Is.

Jasprit Bumrah: Sometimes One Need A Break From Bio Bubble Fatigue

Coming back to resting seniors for the T20I series, Jasprit Bumrah did throw light on the fatigue factor after the loss against the Kiwis on Sunday.

“Sometimes you need a break. You miss your family sometimes. You’ve been on the road for six months. So all of that sometimes play on the back of your mind. But when you’re on the field, you don’t think of all those things. You don’t control a lot of things, how the scheduling goes on or what tournament is played when.”

India's Jasprit Bumrah in action during the 2019 ICC World Cup | AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar
India’s Jasprit Bumrah in action during the 2019 ICC World Cup | AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar

“So obviously staying in a bubble and staying away from your family for such a long period of time does play a role on the player’s mind as well. But they also tried their best to make us feel comfortable.

“But this is the time which we’re living in right now. It’s a difficult time. There’s a pandemic going on. So we try to adapt. But sometimes bubble fatigue, mental fatigue also creeps in, that you’re doing the same thing again and again and again. So it is the way it is, and you can’t control a lot of it here,” he said.

Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Mayank Agarwal are some of the main contenders to open alongside KL Rahul in the series. At the same time, Yuzvendra Chahal and Shikhar Dhawan, both of whom were not selected in the T20 World Cup squad, are likely to be named as well.

After an impressive run in the IPL 2021, Avesh Khan, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh, Chetan Sakariya, and Harshal Patel are also on the reckoning as pacers, while Ravi Bishnoi could also make a way in the spin column.

IND vs NZ: New Zealand will play a T20I series and then follow it up with two Test matches. The T20Is will be played on November 17 in Jaipur, November 19 in Ranchi, and November 21 in Kolkata. The two Tests will be played in Kanpur (November 25-29) and Mumbai (December 3-7).

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