Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

KL Rahul struggled hard to get back his form in the recently concluded Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. However, former India all-rounder and team coach Ravi Shastri believes Rahul should get the nod ahead of wicket-keeper batsman KS Bharat for the World Test Championship (WTC) Final.

The upcoming all-important match will be played at The Oval in England from June 7 to 11.

Rahul (75 no, 91b, 7x4, 1x6) showed the sign of coming back to form by scoring a brilliant half century under immense pressure to star in India’s five-wicket victory over Australia in the first ODI in Mumbai on Friday. Chasing a victory target of 189, India were 39/4. However, Rahul held his nerves to lead the run chase for the Men in Blue. He stitched together an unbroken partnership of 108 runs for the sixth wicket with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (45 no) to script a fighting win for India.

As per Shastri, Rahul would bolster India’s batting department in the WTC final.

“Rahul has really done well to keep the selectors interested ahead of the WTC final. India can bolster their batting if Rahul can keep wickets. Rahul can bat in the middle-order No. 5 or No. 6. In England, you have to generally keep wickets from far behind. You don’t have to keep up to the spinners a lot in England. Rahul has three more ODIs to go before the IPL. He can cement his place in the Indian team,” said Shastri.

On the other hand, Bharat, who made his Test debut in place of injured Rishabh Pant against Australia, had a bad start to his career. Bharat’s skills were under scanner as he fumbled a few times behind the stumps during the series. He also failed to impress with the bat during the series.

Earlier, legendry batsman Sunil Gavaskar had extended his support for Rahul as India’s wicket-keeper batsman for the World Test Championship Final.