KL Rahul likely to lead India in home T20Is against New Zealand, fans to return

Indian opener and wicketkeeper KL Rahul is expected to lead the Men in Blue in the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 15 November 2021 2:32 pm

Even as the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 is underway, there is big news coming in with regards to India's upcoming home series against New Zealand immediately after the ICC event. It is being learned that KL Rahul is likely to lead the Men in Blue in the T20Is that follow the ongoing World Cup in UAE.

This is because some of the senior members of the side are likely to be rested for these matches due to the fatigue of living inside a bio-secure bubble for extended periods. Rahul, who is likely to be a key player in the team's next T20 World Cup cycle, has thus been trusted with the job of a leader.

"The seniors would need a breather and it is no secret that Rahul is an integral part of the team's T20 structure. He is almost certain to lead," a source in the know of developments was quoted as saying in an ANI report.

We will have fans coming in, but it won't be full capacity: BCCI official

The same report also confirmed that fans will be making a comeback to the stadiums. But there will be an eye on the Coronavirus protocols and perhaps stadiums will not operate at 100 per cent.

"Yes, we will have fans coming in, but it won't be full capacity. We will work closely with the local authorities and plan the way forward," a BCCI official said in the same report.

Earlier the West Bengal state government had already given a go-ahead to the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to allow 70 percent of crowds at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata for the third and final T20I between India and New Zealand.

Eden Gardens, which was the venue for the T20 World Cup final between England and West Indies in 2016, can accommodate 68,000 people. This suggests that a 70% capacity would see somewhere around 47,000- 48,000 people in the stands. The last time an international match was played here was none other than the historic pink-ball Test match between India and Bangladesh in November 2019.

The BCCI has not yet given a final word of approval for welcoming fans and the number of fans that will be allowed at the venue. However, CAB President Avishek Dalmiya said that he was hopeful of the same after the state government's directive.