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Langer hopeful Kl Rahul will be fit for LSG’s opener

Langer hopeful Kl Rahul will be fit for LSG’s opener

Justin Langer, head coach of Lucknow Super Giants, expressed optimism about captain KL Rahul availability for the team’s IPL 2024 opener against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday (March 24). Rahul missed the final four Tests of the series against England due to a injury and traveled to London to meet a specialist.

“Kl Rahul was supposed to be here this afternoon to play in the practice game tonight, but unfortunately, he’s had a hold-up on the aeroplane,” Langer said on Wednesday (March 20). “He’ll be at the ground later on tonight, so he’ll probably arrive just after the start of the day’s play.

“He’ll be around for the first time to be with the boys and to be with the team. Everyone’s looking forward to seeing him. We know he has worked very hard to tick off all his return-to-play protocols. He’s worked very hard. He’s been practising, he’s been hitting lots of balls. He’s hopefully ready to go. It’s going to be nice to have the captain with us.”

The Orange Cap winner in 2020, faces an interesting season with a potential spot in the T20 World Cup squad. While a position at the top of the batting order in India’s T20I team may be out of his reach with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad currently ahead in the pecking order, Rahul could make a case for himself as a middle-order keeper-bat, a role he played with great aplomb in his breakthrough 2016 IPL season with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Availability of Kl Rahul

Langer kept LSG’s batting order plans close to his chest but said that Rahul’s World Cup prospects would increase if the team had a great season. “My view – and I’ve said this for probably 25 years – [is that] if the team does well, then everyone gets rewarded. And therefore, from KL’s point of view, if he captains the Lucknow Super Giants to an IPL victory.

“If we have team success, everyone will be rewarded. That’ll be the message for all the players, including Bishi [Ravi Bishnoi] and KL, and there’s a few others who will be vying for T20 World Cup spots. That’s all part of the game we play. The more they concentrate on playing well for Lucknow, the more their chances of being selected will increase.

“We’ve done a lot of work here on the pitches. I’ve been all across it. They’ve changed the water that goes into the pitches. They’ve also changed some of the soil. At the end of last season, they changed the soil on the pitches, and we saw some good results in the World Cup. They played a few games here. There were some high-scoring games. I think South Africa vs Australia was a very high-scoring game, right?

We had a practice game last night under lights, and had two very good training sessions on the middle wickets, and the pitches were excellent – very, very good… so we’re all very hopeful that we see excellent pitches. From what I’ve seen so far, though, we have nothing to worry about.”

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