IND vs ENG 3rd Test: 3 players KL Rahul can replace in playing 11 if he comes back

IND vs ENG 3rd Test: Check out the 3 players KL Rahul can replace in India's playing 11 if he comes back for the 3rd test against England on

Sarah Andrew
New Update

With the Pataudi Trophy leveled at 1-1, both the teams are gearing up for the remaining three tests of the series starting after a 9-day break on 15th February. England came back from a precarious position after conceding a 190-run lead in the 1st innings of the 1st test on the back of Ollie Pope’s scintillating 196 runs.

On the other hand, despite losing some of their key players due to injury after the 1st test, India made a royal comeback and won the 2nd test at Visakhapatnam riding on the heroics of Jasprit Bumrah. Now with the series in level, India is expecting the comeback of their key player in the form of KL Rahul in the 2nd test.

Despite winning the 2nd test, there were some glaring holes in the Indian playing XI which they would like to address before the third test. If KL Rahul makes a comeback in the 3rd test, which is the most likely looking, then one of the current players will have to make way for the former in the playing XI. In this article, we will delve into who could be the three probable players who would make way for KL Rahul in the 3rd test against England at Rajkot.

1. Rajat Patidar


Rajat Patidar just made his debut for India in the 2nd test against England at Rajkot where he made 32 and 9 in both the innings. Though he failed to make the opportunity in his first outing for India, he looked quite comfortable in the first innings before getting out on 32 runs in an unlucky manner.

Although one match is not fair to judge a debutant who has made it to the Indian team after toiling it hard in the Ranji Trophy one needs to understand that he only got the opportunity because KL Rahul got injured in the first place. Thus once Rahul returns, Patidar seems to be the obvious batter who could be swapped for KL Rahul.

2. Shreyas Iyer


Shreyas Iyer is another player who could get out of favor once KL Rahul returns to the playing XI. Iyer has not been in among the runs since his last few innings and more than his low string of scores, his way of getting out is the thing that has irked many.

Shreyas Iyer has not scored a half-century in his last 13 innings and despite getting starts he has thrown away his wickets which has raised serious questions on his test match temperament. In addition to it, the Mumbai batter hasn’t looked comfortable against quality seam bowling and the recently concluded South Africa series was a prime example of it where he could manage only one highest score of 31 runs in the four innings that he featured in. 

3. Mukesh Kumar


The Indian management is not likely to ask KL Rahul to keep wickets as they have already clarified it before the series which means that if out-of-form Srikar Bharat will be replaced then they will likely replace his with Dhruv Jurel. 

This prompts us to replace fast bowler Mukesh Kumar with batter KL Rahul which looks like a more fetched option but one which could be thought off as the medium pacer was very expensive with the balll through the match and managed to take only 1 wicket.

Team India can exclude pacer Mukesh Kumar from the playing XI and enter the Rajkot Test match with just one fast bowler (either Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Siraj) alongside three spinners. 

However, it's worth noting that this strategy of sacrificing a bowler for a batter is inherently risky, and it would come as a surprise if the Indian team chooses to pursue this route. Nonetheless, if the pitch conditions favor dryness and are conducive to spin right from the start, the Indian team might consider exploring this alternative approach.

KL Rahul Shreyas Iyer Mukesh Kumar Rajat Patidar