After a series of low scores that led to Rahul being dropped from the Test squad, the 30-year-old played a crucial knock in Friday’s ODI, helping India to a five-wicket win.
Shastri felt that Rahul’s knock would keep selectors interested going forward WTC Final with Test keeper-batsman KS Bharath He also had a poor performance with the bat in the recently concluded Test series.
Rahul has a good record in England but after the first two Tests against Australia, he was dropped from the playing XI due to poor form.
“He (KL) has done a really good job of keeping the selectors interested ahead of the WTC final,” Shastri told Star Sports.
“Two things, one for the ODI series when Rohit Sharma comes back and the other for the WTC final… If Rahul can keep wickets then India can strengthen their batting.
“Rahul can bat in the middle order – No.5 or 6. In England, you generally have to keep wickets from the back. You don’t have to keep spinners too much. He (KL) has two from the IPL. There are more ODIs to play first. He can cement his place in that Indian team.”
Rahul has scored 614 runs at 34.11 with two centuries — one at The Oval — and one half-century in English conditions in nine Tests.
India qualified for the WTC final against Australia to be held at The Oval in June. This will be India’s second appearance in the final. They lost to New Zealand in the 2021 final.
(With inputs from PTI)