Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey will keep KL Rahul on his toes to hold on to his no. 4 spot: Sourav Ganguly
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly believes KL Rahul will have to be on his toes and make the most of the opportunities coming his way if he has to retain his spot in the limited-overs side. Rahul's poor form in the whites saw him lose his spot in the Test team to youngster Shubman Gill, who was handed his maiden Test cap for the upcoming series against South Africa. Rahul is also unlikely to make the cut into the playing XI in the ongoing T20I series against South Africa with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan likely to get the nod as the first-choice openers.
Ever since making his international debut in December 2014, Rahul has proved his mettle across formats showcasing his superior ability to adapt according to the required conditions. However, a recent dip in his form in the longest format of the game meant he was dropped from the Test squad. In the World Cup 2019, Rahul was played at no.4 before taking the opening spot in Dhawan's absence. He managed to play just one T20I against West Indies in India's recent tour of the Carribean and scored 20 runs.
In the ODIs, Dhawan was preferred over the right-hander. As Dhawan looks set to remain India's first-choice opener along with Rohit in limited-overs cricket, Ganguly feels the writing is on the wall for Rahul, who will be pushed with Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey staking a claim for the number 4 spot.
"With Rohit (Sharma) and Shikhar (Dhawan) at the top as the best possible opening pair, K L Rahul will be pushed. He has lost his place in Test cricket due to indifferent form and the likes of Shreyas and Manish Pandey will keep him on his toes if he wants to hold on to the No. 4 slot," Ganguly wrote in his column for Times of India.
Rahul, who has so far played 23 ODIs and 28 T20Is for India, is a part of the T20I squad for the ongoing series against South Africa and will be looking to make a statement with the willow when given a chance. The Men in Blue will be looking to draw the first blood against South Africa in Mohali after the first T20I was washed out due to rain in Dharamshala.