File photo of KL Rahul© AFP
Indian opening batter KL Rahul was in focus as the ‘Men in Blue’took on Hong Kong in their second Group A encounter in Asia Cup 2022 in Dubai. Rahul was dismissed for a golden duck in India’s opening match against Pakistan and this outing was important for him to get back into the groove. Rahul did spend some time in the middle and also got 36 runs under his belt, but he hardly looked like a batter playing T20 cricket. Rahul consumed 39 balls for his 36 before getting dismissed. At the time of his dismissal, India were struggling at 94/2 after 13 overs.
The innings was given a massive fillip by Suryakumar Yadav, who came in to bat after Rahul, as he slammed an unbeaten 68 off just 26 balls to propel the team’s score to 192/2 in 20 overs.
Even Virat Kohli showed good form as he remained unbeaten on 59 off 44 balls.
Earlier, captain Rohit Sharma had shown intent by scoring 21 runs off 13 balls before being dismissed.
Rahul’s approach, at a time when India is looking to play aggressive cricket, has come in for sharp criticism from former India fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad.
“Is there something in the pitch that is not visible. Simply can’t fathom this approach especially from KL Rahul. #IndvsHkg” Prasad wrote on Twitter.
Is there something in the pitch that is not visible. Simply can’t fathom this approach especially from KL Rahul. #IndvsHkg
— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) August 31, 2022
KL Rahul has in the past been criticised for scoring runs at a slow rate. He has in fact scored tons of runs in IPL, but his franchise often found itself losing crunch games as Rahul’s slow knocks cost the team.
Whether or not he can change his approach in the coming matches will be key to whether he gets the nod to open the innings for India in the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.
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