KL Rahul has done everything that the team-management has asked of him. The right-hander has batted at No.3, he has even come-in at No.5 and played a crucial match-winning knock in the second One-day International in Rajkot; he has been pitted against Shikhar Dhawan for the opening slot and now the Karnataka batsman has also donned the wicketkeeping gloves.
Rahul kept the wicketkeeping gloves throughout the entirety of the One-day International series against Australia after Rishabh Pant was ruled out in the midst of the first game after he was hit a Pat Cummins bouncer. Rahul’s wicketkeeping skills have been garnering a lot of praise from everyone including the Indian captain Virat Kohli, who feels that the Karnatak batsman donning the gloves gives his team an added option.
However, as we all know the current team-management has been pretty impatient with players in the past. Following 2-3 indifferent performances, a lot of players have been ousted from the squad, something former Indian opener Virender Sehwag should not happen in the case of Rahul if he fails on 3-4 occasions in the middle-order.
“If KL Rahul fails four times batting at No.5, the current Indian team management will look to change his slot. However, same wasn’t the case with Dhoni, who knew how important it is to back players at such positions, having himself gone through the hard grind. With MS Dhoni as captain, there was greater clarity with regards to each player’s position in the batting unit. He had an eye for talent and had identified individuals who would take Indian cricket forward,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
Virender Sehwag urges the team-management to be more patient with the middle-order batsmen
One of the reasons why India hasn’t been nail down a permanent middle-order is because the team-management hasn’t shown enough patience with the potential candidates. The management tried as many as 11-12 players for the No.4 spot before the 2019 World Cup, and we all know how that panned out. Sehwag feels that it is the middle-order that needs the backing of the captain-led team-management.
“With the top-order finding it easier for a while in limited-overs cricket, it is those in the middle-order who need backing from a captain. If you don’t give players time, how else will they learn and become big players. I myself batted in the middle-order before opening and made a lot of mistakes, which even resulted in the team’s losses. But you don’t become a big player sitting outside on the bench. Players need time,” stated Sehwag.
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