India’s opening batsman KL Rahul has made a serious statement in the first two Twenty-20 internationals against Sri Lanka after being snubbed from the national ODI squad in the last two series. In the first T20I in Cuttack, Rahul scored a beautifully compiled 48-ball 61 and followed it with a brutal knock of 49-ball 89 in the second T20I in Indore.
Seeing his batting prowess in the first two matches, legendary India captain Sourav Ganguly has once again heaped praises on Rahul and termed him as the perfect solution for India’s number 4 woes in ODI cricket.
“I am also happy to see KL Rahul score runs again. He is a very good player and the selectors need to give him confidence. He is, for me, the solution to the No.4 woes for India in One-day cricket in tough conditions because on quick pitches, the backfoot game is important and Rahul has one. Don’t let him lose confidence,” Ganguly wrote in his recent column for TOI.
During India’s limited-overs series against New Zealand in October, Dada has advised the selectors to pick KL Rahul in the squad keeping the 2019 World Cup in mind.
"I am not too happy seeing KL Rahul out of the squad because he is a player for the future. Dinesh Karthik made his debut in 2007 with us and it has been 10 years but he has not been able to get a permanent place in the side which speaks a lot about how he has gone about his cricketing career in the last 10 years.
"With KL Rahul, he is someone who has scored runs all around the world, whether it is Australia, Sri Lanka or West Indies. I think KL Rahul should be brought back into this team as soon as possible because I think he is a serious talent. KL Rahul's record and quality and also because he is young, he should be included in the squad", Ganguly had told India Today.
The ‘Prince of Kolkata’ had also said that among all the young Indian batsmen, who are looking to make a mark in international cricket at present, only Rahul seems suitable enough to play all three formats of the game.
"Rahul has got runs all around the world, he has got hundreds all around the world and is just a very good talent. He is the only player among all these youngsters apart from Virat Kohli who has played all three formats for the game and has got success in all three formats of the game. Rohit Sharma struggled in Test cricket, Ajinkya Rahane has struggled in One Day cricket to a little extent and then there are Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey who primarily play ODI cricket,” Dada had quoted.
"Except Virat Kohli he (Rahul) is the only guy who has played all three formats and even Dhoni does not play all three formats anymore. From that point of view I think it was a bit tough leaving out KL Rahul. He could have batted at no.4 and I do not see a problem with that because he got that big hundred in Florida batting at no.4 spot in a T20 game. The only thing is that the directions have to be clear. MS Dhoni can be asked to bat at no.4 because we have seen in recent times that he has taken a little time to settle down. He needs someone to keep playing shots at the other end so that he (Dhoni) can see through the game," he further elaborated.
Rahul, who scored a hundred in his debut ODI last year, has been dropped from India’s ODI set up in the last two series. Although, he was there in the ODI squad against Australia in September, but he didn’t get a game owing to his failure at No. 4 in the previous series in Sri Lanka. With his recent showing in the shortest format, it will be interesting to see whether the team-management give him another chance to prove his worth at the crucial No. 4 slot since the opening positions are already accommodated by the dashing duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.