ADELAIDE: KL Rahul, it seems, is under fire from all quarters except where it matters most, the team management. As of 2021, Rohit Sharma’s opening partner has 10 single-digit scores, including three ducks. Three of those single-digit scores have come in this T20 World Cup.
Until 2020, Rohit averaged 44.05 from 45 T20Is and got his runs at a strike rate of 144.92. Since 2021, in 24 T20Is, her average has dropped to 28.04 (SR drops to 125.4).
However, Rahul continues to be a very important batsman for India, averaging 45.07 in India wins since his T20I debut.
Asked whether it is a problem of technique or mindset that is hampering this proven player and whether his lack of runs worries the team management, coach Rahul Dravid said, “No, not at all. He is a fantastic player and he has ‘ a proven track. record. He is batting superbly. This tournament was not easy for top order batsmen. I thought Rahul was superb in the practice match against Australia. He is really suited for these kind of pitches and conditions. Just hope it all clicks.”
Asked what kind of conversations he had with Rahul, Dravid said, “It’s difficult to get into exact details of the talks. In both words and deeds, he (Rahul) has known for the last year that he has our support. That’s the great thing about Rohit (Sharma, captain), he they showed that confidence and belief. We have played the game enough to know that people go through ups and downs. We also understand the nature of Indian cricket, that once you get past Kohli, and Kohli scored runs, who’s the next guy.”
So can the team management afford to let Rahul take his own time to get into the groove? Dravid was unequivocal, “In Rohit’s mind, and my mind, there is absolutely no doubt who is going to open for us. We have no worries about him. I know the impact this man can make. If the conditions dictate that the ball is pinching. a little bit around then we can afford our batsmen to maybe be a little bit more conservative, keep wickets in hand and then target.
“I don’t think there is one way to play T20 cricket. It’s about being adaptable.”