India opener KL Rahul is likely to miss the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy 2017 tournament. The champions trophy is scheduled to start from 1st June this year. This could be the massive blow for the India who are the defending champions as KL Rahul is the in-form batsman for the side. India is placed in the group B alongside arch-rival Pakistan, SriLanka, South Africa. India will play the first warm-up game against New Zeland on 28th May. India will kick off their campaign in the champions trophy 4th June as they will take on their arch rival Pakistan at Edgbaston.
The exclusion of KL Rahul will be a huge blow for the Indian team. KL Rahul suffered an injury during the recently held test series against Australia. He played wonderfully in that test series and played a crucial role in helping the side to beat Australia. Despite injuring his shoulder during the course of the first Test match, Rahul played in the remaining three Test matches of the series through the pain. He scored 373 runs in the test series.
KL Rahul was also not ale to take part in this year’s IPL due to the shoulder injury. He told that he will undergo the surgery so that he could be fit by the time of champions trophy. But, it is highly unlikely that he will be able to do that. He said that it usually takes anywhere close to 2-3 months to completely recover. He also said that doctors have advised him to rest for 2-3 weeks before he could start to rehabilitate.
If KL Rahul is not able to gain the full fitness by the time of champion trophy, then selectors will have to look for his replacement. Many teams like Australia, South Africa have already announced their side for the champions trophy and BCCI will also announce the squad soon. The selectors will also have to decide the whether they will take the risk of including KL Rahul in the side even if he is not fit. In that case, they will have to look at the other option.
The selectors will have the options like Shikhar Dhawan who played a brilliant role in the last champions trophy and was the main reason that India went on to win the trophy. They would also have the option of Parthiv Patel who is in the good form in IPL. They could also include some new player like Shreyas Iyer who is in good form in the domestic competition. The inclusion of Rishav Pant could also be not neglected as he has performed brilliantly in the domestic tournament. The other advantage with Pant is that he will also act as the cover wicketkeeper for Dhoni.
Now, selectors will have to decide on which player they trust most to perform well in the swinging conditions.