Drop KL Rahul, THIS batter should open with Rohit: Former cricketer wants…


KL Rahul was the biggest disappointment in India’s win over Hong Kong by 40 runs in their second game of the Asia Cup 2022 on Wednesday at the Dubai International Stadium. Rahul scored 36 runs from 39 balls which includes 16 dot balls. Fans and cricket experts were very disappointed with the India opener. Earlier in the game against Pakistan, Rahul was dismissed for the first ball duck by Naseem Shah. After all, these co-related incidents cricket experts are raising questions mark on Rahul’s place in playing XI. Former India wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel has expressed that Rahul should be dropped and Virat Kohli should open with Rohit Sharma. According to him this will help India included Rishabh Pant in the playing XI along with Dinesh Karthik. 

“I think if he comes into the team he should open because it will give India a left-right combination. No one is doubting KL Rahul’s quality but because of his injuries he has been out of action for some time and we are too close to the World Cup to have doubt about the (opening) combination. You will have to create space for Rishabh Pant in the playing XI because he is one of those players who can change a game on his own. His performance has improved a lot in the past year and there should be space for him in the team,” said Parthiv Patel on the Cricbuzz show.

Former India cricketer Rohan Gavaskar also believes that if opener K.L Rahul continues to bat like the way he did in the Asia Cup Group A match against Hong Kong, then a change will be a possibility in the opening combination.

“Look, you know, I think he’s coming back from a long, long injury layoff. He didn’t get too many opportunities in the West Indies (didn’t travel due to Covid-19). And I think if you look at Wednesday’s (yesterday’s) innings in isolation and you look at you say, ‘okay listen, 36 of 39 deliveries against Hong Kong seems to be slow’.”

“But I think in this case the team management would have said to him, ‘this is a bit of a free hit’, you know, you know 999 times out of 1000, you’re going to win against Hong Kong. So, this was a bit of a free hit, saying ‘K.L, take your time out there, get set, get a feel out there being in the middle and then we’ll see how it goes’,” said Gavaskar on ‘Sports Over The Top’ show on Sports18.

Rahul is playing T20Is for India for the first time this year through the Asia Cup, after a long layoff caused by a combination of injuries, surgery and Covid-19 infection. With little time left in the Men’s T20 World Cup coming in Australia, Rahul needs to find his groove back to be in the 15-man squad.

“If he continues to bat like he did in Wednesday’s (yesterday’s) game, then I think, you know, we might see a bit of a change. But I think (on) Wednesday (yesterday) there might have been some suggestion from the team management saying don’t worry about strike rate for this particular game. Just worry about spending time in the middle, getting some runs, getting some confidence. Because we all know a confident K.L Rahul is an asset to the side,” added Gavaskar.

After topping Group A in Asia Cup 2022 by winning matches against Pakistan and Hong Kong, India have progressed to the Super Four stage and are now scheduled to play their next match on Sunday.

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