India needs to decide whether KL Rahul is an opener or middle-order batter: Ajit Agarkar

Ajit Agarkar feels the team needs to decide whether KL Rahul will open for the side or play as a middle-order batter in the upcoming series.
Indian cricketer KL Rahul (Photo | PTI)
Indian cricketer KL Rahul (Photo | PTI)

MUMBAI: Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar feels the team needs to decide whether vice-captain KL Rahul will open for the side or play as a middle-order batter in the upcoming series.

Team India are set to play three ODIs at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad from February 6 followed by the T20I series at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata from February 16.

"I think that's the first thing they need to decide, whether he is an opener or a middle-order batsman because he was the captain in South Africa and he opened, which to me it was a bit disappointing because he's been so successful at number 4 or 5 and that's the role that they were looking at," said Agarkar on Star Sports Show Game Plan ahead of the India-West Indies ODI series,

"If that is not going to be the case then again you have got to stick to what you decide if you are going to be an opener then you may as well open the innings with Rohit in the series.

"So, that will be interesting to see because Shikhar Dhawan is there as well, I am not sure in a year or year and a half's time where Shikhar Dhawan would be, even though he has got runs in South Africa," he added.

The former Team India pacer said since the side has a lot of options to try up the order, it is not certain whether KL Rahul opening the batting will work for the team in the future.

"You have got a couple of explosive players like Ishan Kishan or even someone like Rishabh Pant. Who knows whether it will work giving him a chance for the top of the order," said Agarkar.

Kuldeep Yadav has also been picked in India's ODI squad for the West Indies series. Former Team India cricketer Aakash Chopra spoke about the spinning combination ahead of the West Indies series.

"They should be otherwise they wouldn't have picked Kuldeep Yadav, he was on hold for the last, not last 6 months he's been in hold forever since that Birmingham game, where he's got turned around and then he never got an opportunity," said Aakash Chopra.

"They have got him back for a simple reason, that is they are not picking up wickets in the middle overs. Ashwin whether he was available or not, I would've anyway gone with Kuldeep Yadav but we also picked Ravi Bishnoi.

"We picked him for both ODI and T20 and since they don't want to try him then there is Washington Sundar as well and Jadeja and Axar Patel are actually waiting in the wing. So, once you pick so many bowlers then your hands are tied pretty much, who do you go with?" he added.

India ODI Squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan

India T20I Squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Surya Kumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Ravi Bishnoi, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel

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