KL Rahul will not play as wicketkeeper in Test series against England, confirms Dravid

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HYDERABAD: India head coach Rahul Dravid on Tuesday said that batter K L Rahul will not play as wicketkeeper in the five-match Test series against England.

The five-match Test series between India and England begins on Thursday in Hyderabad with the next four matches to be played in Vizag, Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala.

The India head coach said while Rahul has been outstanding behind the stumps, the squad has two proficient wicketkeepers who will be selected for the role. Apart from Rahul, India have added two other wicketkeepers KS Bharat and Dhruv Jurel to the squad.

Dravid stated that the decision was inspired by the series’ duration and the weather conditions. “Rahul won’t be playing as a wicketkeeper in the series. I think we were quite clear about that from the selection itself. We had picked two others who could keep for us. Rahul did a fantastic job for us in South Africa and really played a big part in us helping draw that series. But considering five Test matches and playing in these conditions, the selection will be between the two other keepers we have”, Dravid said in a pre-match press conference.

Meanwhile, India will head into the first two Tests against England without the star batter Virat Kohli, who requested to be withdrawn from the squad due to personal reasons. Veteran batter Rohit Sharma will lead the team, with star pacer Jasprit Bumrah taking up the role of vice-captain. India’s pace attack will also include Avesh Khan, Mohammed Siraj and Mukesh Kumar in the strong 16-member squad.

Squad for first two Tests vs England: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, K L Rahul (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (vc) and Avesh Khan. (ANI)

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