India vs England: KL Rahul to focus on batting, Ishan Kishan likely to keep the wickets against England, Rahul Dravid

India vs England: KL Rahul, the Men in Blue’s wicketkeeper in the recently concluded 2023 ODI World Cup and the 2-match Test Series against the Proteas, is set to be replaced as the wicketkeeper in the red ball format for the England Test Series. The Men in Blue are expected to select a proper wicketkeeper for the home test series against the Englishmen.

The Indian team will face the Ben Stokes-captained team in five Test matches, which are going to be held in Ranchi, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Rajkot, and Dharamshala. The Test series against England series is also the Men in Blue’s first home test assignment in the current World Test Championship 2023-2025 cycle. When the Three Lions last visited India in 2021, they were defeated in a four-match Test series by the Men in Blue by 3-1.

According to Cricbuzz, the Indian coaching staff wants to relieve KL Rahul of wicket-keeping duties due to the challenges posed by the Indian pitches, and they want the former Punjab Kings captain to play as a pure batter. The decision to give KL Rahul a breather from wicket-keeping in Test cricket arises from the back surgery he underwent in 2023, and the Indian management wants to keep Rahul completely fit.

Rahul is almost certain to play as a specialised batsman, and Ishan Kishan is anticipated to return for the England Test series. The 25-year-old Jharkhand gloveman was not selected in the squad for the Afghanistan series, sparking rumors that he was omitted on the basis of disciplinary grounds. However, in a press conference that was conducted a day before the start of India’s first Twenty20 international against Afghanistan, Indian Coach Rahul Dravid revealed that Ishan Kishan has not returned from his break and is unavailable for selection. The Southpaw had taken a break from cricket due to mental fatigue.

Ishan Kishan is expected to feature in the Ranji Trophy for Jharkhand’s encounter against Services on January 19th in Delhi. KS Bharat is another player who might feature as a wicketkeeper against the Three Lions.

Full schedule for the India-England Test Series

  • First Test: January 25–29 at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
  • Second Test: February 2–6 at Visakhapatnam’s Dr. Y. S. Rajashekar Reddy ACA–VDCA Cricket Stadium
  • Third Test, at Saurashtra Cricket Association, Rajkot, February 15–19
  • Fourth Test: February 23–27 at Ranchi’s JSCA International Stadium Complex
  • Fifth Test at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala, March 7–11

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