The re-emergence of KL Rahul
The talented KL Rahul is back with a bang. The Indian opener, who was earlier criticised for not converting his starts has had a fruitful 2019 with the bat where he found a place in the highly competitive Indian ODI squad in addition to being a regular member in the T20I team. His consistent show has made most of his critics his admirers. So what has changed in Rahul’s case?
Making the most of his chances
The Karnataka batsman, it seems to have moved on from Koffee with Karan episode which resulted in the suspension of him and all-rounder Hardik Pandya for a brief period.KL was a beneficiary of left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan’s injury during the World Cup. Rahul, who sealed his place after an impressive IPL 2019 proved to be a valuable aide to World Cup top-scorer Rohit Sharma and the duo in addition to skipper Virat Kohli gave solid starts to India.
Rahul 2.0 as wicket-keeper
Cut to 2020, when the team is facing a problem of plenty with the return of Dhawan, Rahul displayed his worth as a wicket-keeper in the second ODI against Australia when he kept the wickets in place of the injured Rishabh Pant.
KL, batting at number five struck a defiant 80 not out of 52 deliveries and kept well behind the stumps, earning praises from skipper Kohli and Kuldeep Yadav. The fact that team India played him as a wicket-keeper batsman in the first T20I against New Zealand despite Pant being fit proves that team is ready to give him a longer rope in the dual role.
KL Rahul is following the footsteps of Indian cricketing great Rahul Dravid, who upon the then skipper Sourav Ganguly’s request, had kept wickets in ODIs for over two years. If Rahul continues to do well, it will give the team the luxury to play an extra batsman or an all-rounder.