RCB hold trials to get Rahul replacement

RCB hold trials to get Rahul replacement
In their bid to find a replacement for the injured top-order batsman KL Rahul, with wicketkeeping abilities to boost, the Royal Challengers Bangalore held trials for four players here at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Sunday.

N Jagadeesan of Tamil Nadu, who is heavily tipped to take the spot, attended the trials along with Karnataka’s Pawan Deshpande, Vishnu Vinod of Kerala and Himachal Pradesh’s Prashant Chopra.

The four players faced pace bowling under the watchful eyes of coach Daniel Vettori and batting coach Trent Woodhill. Apart from the local net bowlers, Shane Watson, Tymal Mills and Adam Milne bowled to the players from the RCB set-up.

Jagadeesan, who notched up three back-to-back half centuries in the Deodhar Trophy, has an edge over the others thanks to his wicketkeeping abilities. The 21-year-old was seen donning the gloves after his batting session at the trials. Rahul kept wickets for RCB for majority of their campaign last season.

Chopra, a right-handed opening batsman, slammed 329 runs from six matches at an impressive average of 54.83 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The 24-year-old, who can also keep wickets, was part of the India U-19 squad for the 2012 World Cup and was the third highest run-getter (978) in the last season of Ranji Trophy. The right-hander collected those runs at an impressive strike rate of 85.34 runs per 100 balls which is a rare occurrence in first-class matches.  

In the absence of Rahul, the Challengers can look up to Kedar Jadhav to do the wicketkeeping duties and pick a top order specialist batsman.

Desphande, who made his first-class debut last season, produced impressive performances in the Inter-State T20 tournament. The southpaw was seen dominating the challenge of Mills and Milne at the trials, sending some of their deliveries over the fence.

Vinod, the right-handed opening batsman, drew attention last season by slamming 14 sixes, the most by any player in the Inter-State T20 tournament.

The youngster was the standout performer for Kerala, registering 199 runs from four games at an average of 49.75 and a strike rate of 164.46. 

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