Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has backed KL Rahul to lead the Indian team well in the upcoming T20I series against South Africa. The five-match T20I series will begin on June 9 at the Arun Jaitely Stadium in Delhi.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has rested skipper Rohit Sharma and other senior players for the series. KL Rahul has been named captain in Rohit’s absence. Shastri believes KL Rahul’s brilliant record in the format will help him to succeed as a skipper.
Last few years, the 30-year-old has done exceedingly well for India in the shortest format. KL Rahul has scored 1831 T20I runs at an average of 40.68 and a strike rate of 142.49. He has two T20I centuries to his name so far. During a discussion on Star Sports about KL Rahul’s captaincy, Ravi Shastri said,
“It is and it’s not something new to him. He has captained India before. T20 is where he is at his very best. If you see over the last two or three years, he has been one of the most consistent players in this format of the game.”
“Year after year he has good IPLs. So, it’s a format that he is used to and he is very comfortable with. Now that he is the captain, the added responsibility will obviously fire him up even more,” he added.
KL Rahul has not led India in the T20I format yet. He was the captain of the team in the ODI series against South Africa earlier this year. However, the Indian team lost the series 3-0.
— BCCI (@BCCI) May 22, 2022
KL Rahul has got a good side: Ravi Shastri on the Indian squad for South Africa T20I series
The Indian selectors picked a young squad, with the likes of Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, and Ruturaj Gaikwad in the team. Shastri expressed that this Indian team has the quality and is ‘abundance in talent’. He stated,
“He has got a good side. India have got some great T20 sides over the last two or three years, abundance of talent, selection headaches. Yet at the same time, whilst there is quantity, there is quality as well. So, it’s going to be fun.”
The former head coach also warned the Indian team about the opposition in South Africa. He reckons that it will be a good contest between the two teams as South Africa will not get ‘overawed’ by the hosts.
“They are up against a good side, mind you. South Africa play good T20 cricket, a lot of them are familiar with Indian conditions, having played in IPL cricket over the years. They have played a lot against each other of late, so that familiarity is there, they won’t be overawed by India. So it’s going to be a good contest,” concluded Ravi Shastri.