T20 World Cup 2024: ‘Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant are better…’ – Ajit Agarkar reveals reason behind KL Rahul’s World Cup snub

Rohit Sharma, Ajit Agarkar, KL Rahul

Ajit Agarkar, chairman of the national selection panel, explained the reason for KL Rahul’s absence from India’s 15-member squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

While the selectors did not give too many surprises in the team, their decision to leave out KL Rahul has raised eyebrows. The right-handed batsman was part of the team for the 2021 and 2022 editions of the World Cup. In both editions, he opened the innings with current captain Rohit Sharma.

KL Rahul fell down the pecking order in T20Is after the T20 World Cup 2022, but many backed him to find a place in the World Cup squad after his impressive performance as a wicketkeeper-batsman in last year’s ODI World Cup.

Batting in the middle order, he scored an impressive 452 runs in 11 games with the help of a century and two half-centuries. He was India’s fourth-highest run-scorer in the competition and played a key role in the team’s impressive march to the final. Even in the final, he scored India’s top scorer, although he came in a losing cause.

Agarkar explains KL Rahul’s absence:

After his brilliant performances in the ODI World Cup, KL Rahul was backed by many to be part of the T20 World Cup squad as well. However, the Ajit Agarkar-led panel decided otherwise. They have chosen Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson as the two goalkeepers in the 15-member team.

Two days after the squad was announced, Agarkar, on Thursday (May 2), explained the reason for the selector’s decision. The former India pacer stated that the selectors were looking for wicketkeepers who could bat in the middle order.

Since KL Rahul is batting as an opener in the ongoing IPL, the selectors and team management decided to go with Pant and Samson. Agarkar said the selectors decided to pick based on the team’s needs.

“KL Rahul is a fantastic player, what we were seeing are guys batting in the middle. At the moment, KL is batting at the top. We believe Sanju Samson has the ability to come down the order if required, Rishabh. Pant “he’s batting at No. 5 for DC. That was more of the thought wasn’t whether KL is better or these guys are better, it’s about the positions we needed and we feel these two are better right now,” he said. Agarkar.