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Race to Replace: 5 Players Vying for KL Rahul’s Spot in India’s WTC Final Squad

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India’s preparations for the World Test Championship (WTC) final in 2023 have been hampered as star batsman KL Rahul sustained an injury while fielding in an IPL 2023 match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants. The 31-year-old KL Rahul will not play the rest of the IPL 2023 and will be out for the ICC World Test Championship final. So, the question is who will replace KL Rahul in the WTC final?

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Rahul will be a major absence for India in the summit showdown, as he was the team’s third-highest run-scorer in the previous Test series in England, with 315 runs. The selectors will face a mammoth challenge to find KL Rahul replacement. On that topic, here are five possible choices for the replacement of KL Rahul in the WTC final:

5 Players Who Can Replace KL Rahul In India’s WTC Final Squad

Player Names
1.       Mayank Agarwal
2.       Sarfaraz Khan
3.       Abhimanyu Easwaran
4.       Suryakumar Yadav
5.       Ishan Kishan

Mayank Agarwal

Who will replace KL Rahul in WTC Final? Meet 5 Players Eyeing a Spot | KreedOn
Image Source- NDTV

The last time Mayank Agarwal took the field for India in a Test match was against Sri Lanka in March 2022. He was not chosen for the next three series against England, Bangladesh, and Australia. With 990 runs in 13 innings at an average of 82.50, the Karnataka batsman just finished the Ranji Trophy 2022–23 as the competition’s top run-scorer, hitting three hundred and six fifty-sixes. With 21 Test matches under his belt, Agarwal may fill Rahul’s spot in India’s middle or top order. The 32-year-old has valuable experience against the Australian trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and Mitchell Starc, having made his debut in Australia in 2018 and scoring two 70-plus scores in two games. As a result, the batter understands how to deal with the powerful pace unit, and his expertise will come in handy in the big game.

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Sarfaraz Khan

Who will replace KL Rahul in WTC Final? Meet 5 Players Eyeing a Spot | KreedOn
Image Source- TOI

Sarfaraz Khan has been attempting to enter the Indian Test team for a very long time but has been unsuccessful. Sarfaraz amassed 556 runs at an average of 92.66 throughout the nine innings of the Ranji Trophy 2022–23, including three hundred and one fifty. Since the start of the Ranji Trophy in 2019, the 25-year-old has collected 2466 runs at an astounding average of 123.3, with 10 centuries and five fifty-pluses to his credit. After Don Bradman’s 95.14, Sarfaraz has the second-highest first-class average in first-class cricket (79.65). It’s past time for the selectors to allow Sarfaraz to show himself at the international level.

Abhimanyu Easwaran

Image Source- Telegraph India

The 27-year-old Abhimanyu Easwaran was chosen for the India team for the Test series against Bangladesh in December 2022, but he was unable to participate in either of the two matches. In contrast, the Bengal batsman scored 798 runs in 14 innings during the 2022–23 Ranji Trophy, scoring three hundred and three fifty-pluses while maintaining an average of 66.50. Easwaran has been on the selector’s radar, and his outstanding performance in the Ranji Trophy has increased his chances of being picked again for the team. He was successful in guiding Bengal to the 2022–23 Ranji Trophy final, but he was unable to overcome Saurashtra’s challenge in the summit match.

Suryakumar Yadav

Who will replace KL Rahul in WTC Final? Meet 5 Players Eyeing a Spot | KreedOn
Image Source- Indian Express

India’s Test line-up for the home series against Australia featured Suryakumar Yadav. He was out of sorts in the next ODI and was unable to make an impression. Since then, Surya has regained his form in the IPL and is back to his best. He may be a worthy Rahul substitute in the middle order, where he can destroy the Australian bowling attack because the final will be played at the Oval. SKY has been a powerhouse in the domestic setup and is no pushover in red-ball cricket either. He has ample evidence that he can move to long-form cricket, averaging 44.45 in first-class cricket.

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Ishan Kishan

Image Source- Cricfit

Ishan Kishan is another player who might be called up to replace KL Rahul in the India team. The wicketkeeper batsman Kishan is one of the best players in the game. Due to Rahul’s unavailability, the team may have a wicketkeeper batter in the line-up. Kishan is India’s best possible option for a wicketkeeper-batsman because Rishabh Pant is also receiving treatment. 

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