KL Rahul’s average as Test opener is not acceptable, says Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik has questioned KL Rahul’s below-par average in Test cricket and said the opener must not get more than two matches to prove his worth.

Rahul, who led India to 2-0 Test win in Bangladesh is tipped to be the next India captain but his average in the game’s longest format is concerning. The opener is averaging only 34.26 in 45 Tests.

India will play Australia in the four-match Test series, starting February 3 onwards. Karthik feels that should be the do-or-die series for Rahul and if fails to score big hundreds in the contest, he must pave for the other openers.

“I would give KL those couple of Test matches, but if things don’t go KL Rahul’s way… The one thing that does go against him is the fact that he has played over 40 Tests and his average is just mid-30s. That is not acceptable for an opener. That is one of the lowest among Indian players for sure, who have played 35 Test matches,” Karthik told Cricbuzz.

“That is something that he needs to definitely work on. That will be on his mind. If he wants to cement his place in the Test team, he needs to get a couple of hundreds against Australia. Otherwise, you can definitely see a change, with Shubman Gill doing so well,” he added.

India’s 2-0 series sweep over Bangladesh in Mirpur on Sunday consolidated their position at the number two spot behind leaders Australia in the ICC World Test Championship standings.

The series win brightened India’s hope for a back-to-back WTC final appearance.

This helped India consolidate their position behind Australia with 58.92 per cent of possible points with a crucial home series against Australia (four Tests) due in February-March next year.

India need to produce some good results during their series against pacesetters Australia if they are to make it to back-to-back appearances in the WTC final.

Australia are in the box seat to qualify for their first WTC final, with the Pat Cummins’ side currently holding a healthy lead at the top of the standings with 76.92 per cent of possible points.

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