Team India opener KL Rahul has been under immense pressure after getting out cheaply in the first three T20Is against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Rahul’s poor form at the top-order has hurt the home side badly as Virat Kohli & Co trail 2-1 in the five-match series with two matches still to go.
Incidentally, Rahul was dismissed cheaply for just 1 run in the series-opener in Ahmedabad. The cricketer from Karnataka – KL Rahul’s struggles continued in the second T20I where he was handed a duck in the very first over by Sam Curran followed by another duck in the 3rd outing thanks to a brilliant in-swinger from English quick Mark Wood, who beat Rahul with his raw pace to knock off his timber.
KL Rahul is our best batsman in this format – Vikram Rathour
With quality cricketers waiting in the wings for their opportunity, many have urged the management to drop KL Rahul and give others a chance after returning with only 1 run in the first three games. But skipper Virat Kohli was seen backing his opener while speaking at the end of the match. India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour also echoed the same voice calling the Karnataka-born cricketer as their best T20I batsman in the country in the last year.
“Anybody can have a lean phase and KL has been our best batsman in T20 format. He is averaging 40 plus with a strike rate of 145 and 3 failures doesn’t change the fact that he is the best batsman we have in this format,” Vikram Rathour said after the third T20 International.
“This is the time when we need to support him and I am absolutely sure he will come back out of the lean phase,” the batting coach spoke in the same vein as Kohli did at the presentation ceremony.
Meanwhile, KL Rahul has been in decent touch during the limited-overs series against Australia. However, lack of game time during the Test series against Australia and England took a toll on his form and he might just have hit the rough patch. Vikram Rathour did agree that rustiness could be a reason and all it would take is one good shot to get back into the groove.
“I agree they do tend to get rusty when they are sitting out but only thing we can do is to provide them practice. They are having a lot of net sessions and even on the middle (centre strips),” Vikram Rathour said.
“That’s all they can do and we can just hope that one innings or one shot and they will be back in form. People like KL Rahul,” he added.