KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Twitter)

While this World Cup of Virat Kohli is shining like a fairy tale, it is passing like a nightmare for KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. At least Captain Sharma has scored 1 half-century with the bat, but this season has not brought any special innings for Rahul so far. In such a situation, fans of KL Rahul and fans of Team India are expecting a big bang from the star batsman.

Rahul’s last three scores have been 9, 9, and 4. However, in the practice match against Australia, he scored 57 runs in 33 balls. Rahul’s failure at the top of the order affected India’s performance and it also left the team with a low score against South Africa which ultimately led to a loss. After the Indian vice-captain consistently went back to the hut for single digits in this T20 World Cup, furious fans rallied on social media to drop KL Rahul from the Indian team. Rahul, who has been brought into the T20 World Cup amid heavy criticism, has not been able to compete with his critics due to poor scores in the tournament.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul’s low scores affecting team performance?

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Against South Africa, KL Rahul ate the first over maiden while opening the innings and then got out after hitting a six. After scoring just 9 runs off 14 balls, KL faced heavy criticism for his approach as fans questioned his place in the playing XI.

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Rahul Dravid throws weight behind KL Rahul

KL Rahul has the clear backing of skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid after scoring three single-digit scores in the 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup. In 13 matches since the start of the Asia Cup in August, Rahul averaged 27.33 at a strike rate of 121.03. In the same period, two of his top-order colleagues, Virat Kohli and Rohit, have scored at strike rates of 142.49 and 138.79, raising questions about Rahul’s place in the team. India itself has no such doubts.

Dravid said “No, not at all,” when asked if Rahul’s form has become a headache for the leadership. He added “I think he’s a fantastic player, and he’s got a proven track record. He’s done really well. I thought he’s been batting superbly. These things can happen in a T20 game sometimes. It’s not been that easy for top-order batsmen, this tournament has been pretty challenging. I thought he was superb in the practice game against Australia with Mitchell Starc and Patrick Cummins. It was a pretty good attack, and I thought he batted superbly that day [for his 57 off 33]. So he’s actually playing really well. Just hoping it all clicks together over the next three or four games.”

Dravid backs Rahul

He further said “We know his quality, we know his ability, and he’s really well suited for these kinds of conditions, these kinds of pitches. He’s got a good all-around game. He’s got a very good strong back-foot game, which is obviously very much required in these conditions.”

Rishabh Pant is believed to bring in the much-needed left-arm option if he opens in place of Rahul, but the only way Pant can have it is if Dinesh Karthik is not fully fit after the back Cramps while against South Africa in Perth. Dravid said Karthik was in good shape the morning before the Bangladesh match and would be assessed after training. The final decision will be taken on the day of the match.

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