Rahul would not play as a keeper in the five-match series against England, after playing a superb two-match Test series against South Africa.

Kl Rahul

India head coach Rahul Dravid announced that KL Rahul has been relieved of his wicketkeeping responsibilities; therefore it will be a toss-up between KS Bharat and Dhruv Jurel for the wicketkeeper position for the first Test against England at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad beginning on Thursday. Dravid announced on Tuesday that Rahul, who had kept remarkably well in the two-match Test series against South Africa, would not be playing as a keeper in the five-match series against England.

“We made it plain in the selection itself that Rahul will not be playing as a wicket-keeper in this series. Dravid stated during a news conference, “We have selected two other wicket-keepers, and Rahul did an outstanding job for us in South Africa and really helped us draw the series.”

Virat Kohli missed the first two Test matches for personal reasons; therefore Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are expected to be in the starting lineup. Rahul is probably only going to play as a specialist batter, just like Iyer.

Dravid stated that Bharat or Jurel will be the option for India’s keeper for the first game of the series.

“But considering five Test matches (against England) and playing in these conditions the selection will be between the two other keepers we have,” he said, according to Hindustan Times.

Because of the nature of Indian pitches, a wicketkeeper must always stand up to the wickets against spinners, in this case, R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. This is a job best left to a professional stumper.

In his 92 First-Class matches, the 31-year-old Bengaluru player has only been named wicketkeeper three times, and none of those outings occurred in India.

In that perspective, it may not have been appropriate for the team management to select Rahul as wicketkeeper against England, given that the visitors’ ‘Bazball’ style of cricket may only provide a few opportunities for the gloveman.

On the other hand, Bharat, who took over for Rishabh Pant after the actor was hurt in an automobile accident, has performed admirably in the part and has received praise frequently.

Despite his lackluster bat performance, Bharat’s contributions behind the stumps are equally important. In 91 First-Class matches, 82 of which have taken place in India, he has recorded 287 catches and 33 stumpings.

Bharat will start the series against England as the wicketkeeper-batter because Jurel is still a little raw.

He may have gained more respect from think tanks due to his undefeated 116, which enabled India A to tie the first unofficial “Test” against the England Lions in Ahmedabad.