India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik feels that opener KL Rahul has to get three-figure scores in the forthcoming Test series against Australia in order to keep his place in the red-ball side.
Rahul, who was also taking the charge of stand-in skipper in absence of injured Rohit Sharma, had a series of low scores in both Tests as an opener which has raised eyebrows on his form. He just scored 57 runs in 4 innings at an average of 14.25.
On the other hand, Rahul’s opening partner Shubman Gill scored 157 runs including a century in the two-match series.
Karthik said Rahul’s average is among the lowest as a Test opener who have played more than 40 Tests for India which is ‘unacceptable’.
“I would give KL those couple of Test matches, but if things don’t go KL Rahul’s way… The one thing that does go against him is the fact that he has played over 40 Tests and his average is just mid-30s. That is not acceptable for an opener. That is one of the lowest among Indian players for sure, who have played 35 Test matches,” Karthik told Cricbuzz.
“That is something that he needs to definitely work on. That will be on his mind. If he wants to cement his place in the Test team, he needs to get a couple of hundreds against Australia. Otherwise, you can definitely see a change, with Shubman Gill doing so well,” he added.
Despite the flop show in batting from the top order, India won the second Test by three wickets on Sunday to sweep the series 2-0.
With the series win over Bangladesh, India have bolstered their chances for the World Test Championship finals as they moved to the second spot in the standings with 58.93 per cent of possible points.
India’s next and final assignment to finish at the top two spots in the standings will be against Australia, who will tour India for four-match series in February-March next year.
Pat Cummins-led side is at the top of WTC standings with 76.92 per cent of possible points. Currently, they are hosting South Africa for three-Test series.