Srinagar: The debate regarding continuity of opener KL Rahul in the India squad is heating up with some former cricketers lashing out at management for his continuity while as some have come into defence of the senior opener.
Despite India’s wins over Australia in the first two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Rahul continues to struggle. Calls to drop Rahul and play Shubman Gill, who has been in red-hot form in ODIs and T20Is, has gained momentum with each of the former’s failures – the opener has managed to score 20, 17 and 1 – in the series so far.
The fact that Rahul averages 33.44 after 47 Tests has played its part. However, India head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma showed complete faith in Rahul. Dravid cited the right-hander’s hundreds in South Africa and England, while Rohit talked about looking at the potential of the player rather than the scores.
There are different opinions regarding KL Rahul among former cricketers too. While most believe the long rope given to Rahul has now reached its limit, a few like Aakash Chopra have inclined towards Dravid and Rohit in backing Rahul.
The former India opener, who indulged in a healthy Twitter debate with former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad over Rahul’s position in the Indian Test XI, cited the latter’s numbers in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia to support his case.
“Indian batters in SENA countries. Maybe, this is the reason selectors/coach/captain are backing KLR. He’s played 2 Tests at home (ongoing BGT) during this period,” Chopra said with screenshots of Rahul’s healthy average of 38.64 – the third-best among all Indian batters after Rohit Sharma and Washington Sundar (only 1 Test) – in SENA countries since 2020
Chopra also highlighted that he doesn’t want a “BCCI role” nor an “IPL team” job and his views are purely based on numbers. “No, I don’t need a BCCI role as a selector/coach. I don’t need any mentor, or coaching role at any IPL team either,” he added. The latter half of his tweet appeared to be in connection to the trolling Venkatesh Prasad has been receiving for his repeated, hard-hitting and targeted threads against Rahul.
With centuries in Australia, Sri Lanka, England, West Indies, and South Africa, Rahul has proved his ability at the highest level. No other Indian opener in recent times can boast of a similar record.