NEW DELHI: Former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad lashed out at the Indian team management for persisting with KL Rahul to partner Rohit Sharma at the top of the innings and stated that the batter's inclusion costs other talented batters a place in the national side.
The selectors have stuck with the opener despite the right-hander underperforming in Tests.
He was dismissed for 17 runs in India's first innings in the second Test, taking his run tally to 37 runs in the two innings of the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
"And the torrid run continues. More to do with the rigidity of the management to persist with a player who just hasn't looked the part. No top-order batsman in at least the last 20 years of Indian cricket has played these many tests with such a low average," Prasad said in a tweet.
He slammed the selectors for ignoring players who have been performing consistently in the domestic circuit and making them wait for a place in the national Test side.
"His inclusion deliberately denies talented guys, in form guys an opportunity to be in the 11. Shikhar had a test average of 40 plus, Mayank averages more than 41 with two double hundreds, Shubhman Gill is in sublime form and Sarfaraz's never-ending wait. Many domestic performances are constantly ignored. His inclusion shakes belief in Justice. SS Das had great potential, and so did S Ramesh. Both averaged 38 but did not get beyond 23 Test matches. Rahul's consistent inclusion gives the impression of a lack of batting talent in India which isn't true. Last 5 years his average has been below 27 in 47 innings," the former player expressed.
Prasad further stated that deserving players who have delivered match-winning performances have been sidelined, citing Kuldeep Yadav who was dropped after being named the player of the match.
"As per me, he is not among the 10 best openers in India but is being given endless chances. Guys like Kuldeep Yadav put in man-of-the-match performances and the next game are dropped with theories like horses for courses. In any course, KL is not a horse. Sad," he added.
A 114-run partnership bailed India out of trouble in the first innings of the second Test match being played here at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi with the team conceding just one run lead to Australia.
At the end of the second day, Australia had scored 61 runs with the loss of one wicket in their second innings, taking their lead to 62 runs with nine wickets in hand.
Travis Head scored 39 of 40 balls while Marcus Labuschagne remained unbeaten on 16.
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