Asia Cup 2023
Aug 24, 2023 09:42 PM IST

KL Rahul's participation in Asia Cup uncertain, Danish Kaneria criticizes selection

In a race against time after receiving a call-up for the Asia Cup 2023, former Indian vice-captain KL Rahul is still a doubtful starter against Pakistan in the continental tournament. Rahul, who has been named in Team India's squad alongside a fit-again Shreyas Iyer, picked up niggle which is not related to his original injury. Rahul sustained a thigh injury while fielding for Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023.

After newly appointed chief selector Ajit Agarkar did not rule out the chances of Rahul missing out on India's Asia Cup opener against Babar Azam's men, former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria has slammed the Indian selectors over the selection of the star batter. Questioning the selection of the ex-India vice-captain, Kaneria opined that Rahul should be a reserved player for the Asia Cup. India have named power-hitter Sanju Samson as a reserve batter in its squad.

'Rahul should have been reserve player'

"KL Rahul didn't perform in Test cricket, which led to him losing his place. He then failed to score in the IPL as well. He was injured and got an entry into the team once again when he recovered. This is unfair. If India gave KL Rahul another chance, Sanju Samson should also have been in the squad. Rahul should have been a reserve player. However, maybe he has become such a big name that they can't drop him," the former Pakistan spinner said.

'Samson will once again have to carry drinks'

While versatile Rahul has been roped in as a wicketkeeper-batter, southpaw Ishan Kishan has been considered as backup to openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill for the Asia Cup. Kishan has also been preferred over Samson as a second wicketkeeper option in the Asia Cup squad. Travelling to Sri Lanka as a reserve batter, Samson failed to seal a place in the 17-man squad after a forgetful series against the West Indies.

"Sanju Samson will once again have to carry drinks. While many would say he has been treated unfairly, I disagree with that. He was given enough chances, which he needed to grab them with both hands. You have to perform if you want to be retained in the team," Kaneria added.