KL Rahul back in India, set for IPL 2024 return and 'in line' for T20 World Cup | Cricket - Hindustan Times

KL Rahul back in India after medical consultation, set for IPL 2024 return and 'in line' for T20 World Cup: Report

Mar 04, 2024 02:25 PM IST

KL Rahul is expected to be back for the IPL 2024 as captain Lucknow Super Giants to give his chances of playing the T20 World Cup a boost.

KL Rahul has returned to India following a medical examination trip to London, and is gearing to make his comeback with Lucknow Super Giants in IPL 2024. Rahul, who sustained an injury in his right quadriceps while playing the first England Test in Hyderabad, was ruled out of the remaining four games due to the same, but with the 16th season of the Indian Premier League approaching, the LSG captain is eager to hit the ground running after his season was cut short in 2023.

KL Rahul is set to make his return from injury.(Reuters)
KL Rahul is set to make his return from injury.(Reuters)

According to a report in the Times of India, Rahul's quick trip to London was a success and the India batter has hit the National Cricket Academy to be ready in time for LSG's season opener against Rajasthan Royals on March 24. Rahul had to miss a significant chunk of last IPL after he injured his hamstring in the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, and hence, the LSG captain wants to ensure he enters the fresh edition fit and match ready.

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"He had consulted top medical experts in London. He returned to India on Sunday and has checked into the BCCI's National Cricket Academy in Bangalore for rehab. He should get the Return to Play certificate from the NCA soon," the report stated.

Also Read: 'When was last time KL Rahul turned up for a Ranji game?' Fresh KKR camp details emerge amid Shreyas Iyer-BCCI saga

Another motivation behind Rahul's dedication towards getting fit is the upcoming T20 World Cup. Rahul, like his senior pros Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, was momentarily out of the format after India's defeat to England in the 2022 T20 World Cup semi-final, but while 'Ro-Ko' made their returns in the Afghanistan T20Is, KL is yet to make that move. However, the same report mentions that Rahul is 'in-line' to earn a T20 recall for the T20 World Cup that begins June 1 in the USA and West Indies.

"He is keen to prove his worth in the IPL as he's in line for selection in India's T20 World Cup team as a 'keeper-bat."

KL Rahul's T20 conundrum

While Rahul may be in contention for a place in the World Cup squad, he, no doubt, will receive stiff competition from the likes of Rinku Singh and Sanju Samson in the middle-order. There are two ways to look at Rahul when it comes to his place in the Playing XI. One is purely as a batter, which won't be easy given Hardik Pandya and the returning Suryakumar Yadav being automatic picks.

But second, if he is to be picked as a wicketkeeper-batter, Rahul's chances increase. India are yet to decide on a particular wicketkeeper-batter since Rishabh Pant was sidelined. Ishan Kishan is nowhere in the picture currently and Jitesh Sharma hasn't done enough to cement his place in the team. The only name that makes somewhat of a case here is that of Samson, but given the choice between the two, it is likely that the management will opt for Rahul.

Then again, a lot will be decided between now and the IPL, where both Rahul and Samson will have a point to prove. Rahul may or may not keep for LSG, with the latter possibility being higher. As for Samson, he too may not take on the wicketkeeping duties as Jos Buttler has been performing that role adequately.

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