When the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sent out a media advisory yesterday (October 14) revealing the India One Day International squad for New Zealand series at home, there were three changes.
KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami were dropped from the 15-man line-up which tasted 4-1 success against Australia.
Dinesh Karthik, Shikhar Dhawan and Shardul Thakur were the replacements for the trio.
It was clearly unfair on the part of MSK Prasad-led selection committee to axe Karnataka right-hander Rahul.
The 25-year-old has every reason to be aggrieved by the latest setback for no fault of his.
Rahul has fallen victim to the experimentation policy of the Indian team management. Captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri have let the youngster down.
The Bangalore boy is an opener and he was asked to bat in the middle order during the Sri Lanka series, which the team won with a historic whitewash verdict of 5-0.
Rahul failed in his new role with low scores of 4, 17 and 7. And in the home series against Australia he did not feature in any of the five ODIs, where the "Men in Blue" triumphed 4-1.
He was not part of the Twenty20 Internationals that followed. The trophy was shared by the teams with series deadlocked at 1-1 as the last contest in Hyderabad was washed out.
Before the Sri Lanka ODIs, Kohli had revealed to the media that Rahul would bat in the middle order.
"KL is such a solid player. Before injury he had done well in all the three formats. KL Rahul will definitely be playing in the middle-order but we won't be predictable or have a set pattern anymore. Anyone can bat anywhere," the skipper had said on August 19, 2017.
Kohli is known to back his players even while out of form. But how did he not think of Rahul for the three-match rubber against the Kiwis?
As is the norm, the selectors would have consulted the captain before picking the squad.
If you are judging a player based on only three innings, it is not right. If Rahul was to be tried in the middle order then he should have been a long run.
It is never easy for a batsman to be moved up and down the order. It takes times to settle in a new position.
Rahul has been one of India's best in the recent past across all three formats. He announced his ODI arrival with a hundred on debut against Zimbabwe in June 2016.
So far, he has played 10 matches (batted in 9 innings). He has opened the innings six times and averages 55 at that slot.
It was only in Sri Lanka that he had been moved down the order. The demotion has resulted in his exit from the squad.
Rahul is too good a batsman to be kept out for a long time. He is likely to turn out for his state side in Ranji Trophy and will be aiming to bounce back for Sri Lanka series.
Rahul's ODI career so far
10 matches, 9 innings, 2 not outs, 248 runs at 35.42. Highest score - 100 not out. One hundred, one fifty.
His scores in nine ODI innings - 100*, 33, 63*, 8, 5, 11, 4, 17, 7.