IND v AUS 2023: “Won’t be able to comment…” Vikram Rathour answers whether KL Rahul lucky to be picked in India’s XI

Rahul scored 20 runs off 71 balls in India's first innings of the Nagpur Test.

KL Rahul | GettyKL Rahul failed to make a mark with the bat in India’s first innings of the opening Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against Australia in Nagpur on Thursday (February 9).

Despite his scores of 22, 23, 10 and 2 in an away two-Test series against Bangladesh in December 2022, Rahul was preferred in India’s starting XI over the in-form opening batter Shubman Gill.

However, the right-hander failed to repay the faith of the team management, scoring only 20 runs off 71 balls with one boundary. As a result, he is drawing flak from the fans and experts, with many of them questioning his place in the side.

At the close of play on Day 2, India batting coach Vikram Rathour addressed a press conference, where he was asked whether Rahul was lucky to be considered in the playing XI despite his poor run of form.

“I won’t be able to comment on that,” Rathour replied.

“But he (Rahul) has scored two hundreds in his last 10 Tests – one in England and other in South Africa and also has a couple of fifties. So we are not yet there.”

Rohit Sharma’s stunning century has put India in a commanding position in the first Test. On a track where Australia’s innings folded for a paltry 177 and no visiting batter managed to hit a half-century, the Indian captain produced a batting masterclass against the spinners.

Rohit scored 120 before being dismissed and his 212-ball knock was studded with 15 fours and 2 sixes.

Lauding the Indian skipper’s exceptional display with the bat, Rathour said: “It was a special innings by Rohit and it is a great feeling (to see him score runs). He showed good temperament and it was very important innings as the surface wasn’t easy to bat on.”

“He has got runs on seaming tracks in England. But if we talk about this particular innings, he was made to work hard for his runs. Normally, with Rohit when he scores his first few runs, he then pushes the score. But here he had to work hard,” he added.

The hosts ended Day 2 on 321/7, leading Australia by 144 runs in the first-innings with Ravindra Jadeja (66*) and Akshar Patel (52*) unbeaten in the middle.

However, Vikram Rathour didn’t want to sound complacent about the fact that the match is as good as in India’s pocket.

“I don’t think so. You can’t say till the last ball is bowled,” the batting coach stated.

Praising Akshar for his knock, Rathour said: “He (Akshar) has been exceptional with the ball so that was not even a consideration. Yes, (his) batting is a bonus.”

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 10 Feb, 2023

    Share Via