Here's how KL Rahul reacted to being appointed as India's vice-captain for Australia tour
KL Rahul is a wicketkeeper-batsman and has been in India's Test circuit since 2014. To date, he has played 36 Tests, scoring 2,006 runs at an average of 34.6, including five centuries and 11 half-centuries. He is currently leading Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League.
Indian wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul has become one of the finest batsmen for the side, across formats. He has once again been rewarded with a spot in the Indian side for the upcoming Australia tour.
However, regular Indian opener and vice-captain, Rohit Sharma, has not made it to the squad, owing to a hamstring strain, he recently suffered. As a result, Rahul has been handed the duties of vice-captaincy.
After the news broke in, Rahul expressed his delight in having been handed the role and is looking forward to the responsibility. "It is a very happy and proud moment. I was not expecting it, but I am very happy. I am ready for responsibility and challenge, and I will try to do my best for my team as much as I can," he was quoted as saying by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).
"I am looking forward to the coming tour, but the next 2-3 weeks before that are very important. The next 2-3 months will be very important. I am thinking about one day at a time, not much forward at the moment," he added.
Rahul is currently leading KXIP in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), which is his first stint as a captain. Although the side was off to a shaky start initially, it has picked up the pace of late and is firmly in contention to make it to the playoffs.
However, Rahul's inclusion in the squad and being appointed as the vice-captain was not received well by some former Indian players. "Maybe, announcing the vice-captain could have been on hold. They could have waited for Rohit's injury details for another week, and then, gone ahead with it [declaring the vice-captain]," Deep Dasgupta told Sports Today.
Also, Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Rahul's inclusion in the squad does not justify anything. "You set a bad precedent when you recall a player for Tests on IPL performance. Especially if the player has been an abject failure in his last few Tests. Whether that player succeeds or fails is irrelevant, such selections massively demotivate Ranji players. #INDvsAUS," he tweeted.
Nonetheless, Krishnamachari Srikkanth feels otherwise, as he says, "Rahul might have been inconsistent, but the same KL Rahul made his debut in Australia and made a century. He's a good player of fast bowling. Let's understand, he's a very good player of fast bowling."