‘It started as a niggle, maybe there is a bit more to it’ – Aakash Chopra opens up on KL Rahul’s prolonged absence

“You and I will never know,” Chopra commented on Rahul’s exact status of his right quadriceps injury.

After an impressive performance in the first Test against England in Hyderabad, KL Rahul was ruled out of the second match due to pain in his right quadriceps. He was expected to make his return in the third Test in Rajkot, but the cricketer failed to recover and is now set to miss the fourth Test of the series in Ranchi. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials are yet to comment on the nature of his injury, but he is expected to play the Dharamshala Test, which is slated to begin on March 7.

Speaking about Rahul’s injury, former cricketer Aakash Chopra stated that there’s very little information about him at the moment. He added that Rahul’s return keeps on delaying and mentioned that it will give Rajat Patidar another opportunity to prove himself in red-ball cricket. Replacing Rahul in the playing XI, Patidar failed to justify his spot as the Ranchi Test could be a make-or-break clash for the 30-year-old.

“They were saying that KL Rahul would be available for the next match and then the match after that, the third and the fourth Test, but now he could probably be available for the fifth, we don’t know as of now. So, it started as a niggle, maybe there is a bit more to it. You and I will never know,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“Since he is not available, it means there will be no change in the Indian XI as far as the batting lineup is concerned. So it’s a golden opportunity for Rajat Patidar to score runs, or else it could be a problem,” the 46-year-old added.

Chopra advocates to play an extra spinner in Ranchi

Spinners are projected to benefit from the pitch in Ranchi. Keeping that in mind, Chopra has opined to play an extra spinner which would mean including Axar Patel into the scheme of things.

“So Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravichandran Ashwin can be your four spinners plus Mohammed Siraj – play with that. It won’t make a difference. The rest of the team can be same to same,” the cricketer-turned-commentator added.

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