Changes in Team India’s playing XI were pretty much on the cards for the Boxing Day Test and it turned exactly like that, when Karnataka batsman, KL Rahul was handed his debut against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground today.
Rahul was one of the two changes made by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the playing XI for the third Test. The 22-year-old also becomes the fourth India, after PK Sen, K Rai Singh and Hrishikesh Kanitkar, to make Test debut at the MCG.
The Bangalore-born, Rahul was in good form in the domestic circuit and was in line to make Team India debut, ever since he was selected in the team for tour Down Under. He was drafted into the team in place of swashbuckling batsman Rohit Sharma.
Rahul was given his Test cap by none other than skipper MS Dhoni and he made his debut in front of 69,993 spectators, who attended the opening day of the Test match in Melbourne.
The stylish right-hander and an occasional wicketkeeper, Rahul was selected in the Indian team, after a string of impressive performances in the Ranji Trophy. He scored 1,158 runs in the last Ranji Trophy season at an impressive average of above 50.
But, the turning point was his back-to-back centuries in Duleep Trophy final for South Zone against Central Zone. Rahul scored an impressive 185 and 130 at the Feroz Shah Kotla, although his tons went in vain, but he managed to grab the attention of selectors.