With every low score, the pressure is mounting on KL Rahul. The India opener, who had not played a single T20I this year prior to the T20 World Cup is battling lack of match practice and form. In the four innings he has played since his return from injury, Rahul has produced scores of 1 and 30 against Zimbabwe, a golden duck against Pakistan and a scratchy 36 off 39 balls against Hong Kong in The Asia Cup.
Now, the failure against Pakistan can be forgiven considering this was his first T20I of the year and he was up against a quality bowling attack. But scoring at a strike-rate of less than 100 and playing just one attacking stroke in the Powerplay will ring alarm bells, especially being this close to the T20 World Cup. Weighing in on Rahul and the form he currently finds himself in, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has issued a word of caution for the India opener.
“See, Shubman Gill has batted so brilliantly in Zimbabwe and West Indies so there definitely is a stiff fight for the opening slot, the fight is tough. So if you aren’t scoring runs and not in form then it’s concerning. It’s a matter of the World Cup, where you should only take players who are in form,” Gavaskar said on Sports Tak.
And rightly so. Gill has been in red-hot form scoring a century and to go with a string of big fifties to his names against them and the West Indies combined. Over the last couple of months, with the likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant opening the innings for India, it is not that there is a shortage of options for openers. Ishan Kishan too is waiting in the wings, which is why if Rahul does not make the most of his remaining opportunities, there may just be a surprise omission from India’s T20 World Cup squad.
“There is no scope of taking a chance with someone there, hoping that after 2-3 matches, a player will return to form. No. Because all World Cup matches are tough. Rahul has a few matches left and he will have to score runs otherwise, the selection committee will think what to do next,” added Gavaskar.
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