‘Only KL Rahul can make 360 degrees batting look orthodox’ – Sanjay Manjrekar
Rahul, however, failed to make it to the Test squad for the two-match series against New Zealand starting later this month.
Updated - Feb 6, 2020 12:31 pm
It didn’t take much time for the followers of cricket to change their minds once KL Rahul started middling the ball. The talented Karnataka batsman made an impressive beginning to his international career a few years ago but for months in between, he failed to score enough runs across formats. Rahul, however, is back with a bang over the last few series and bagged the man of the series award in the T20Is against New Zealand. India won the series 5-0.
Rahul, who is also carrying out the role of the wicket-keeper in the limited-over games to give his captain Virat Kohli that much flexibility, also slammed 88 not out in just 64 balls in the first ODI against the Black Caps that India lost despite scoring 347 runs.
Rahul came out to bat at No.5 in the match and hit six sixes and three fours to power India to a big total. He also effected a stumping off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav but Ross Taylor’s 109 not out took away the game to give the hosts a six-wicket win with 11 balls to spare.
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar praised Rahul’s knock at Hamilton’s Seddon Park and called him a “360-degree” batsman. “Only K L Rahul can make 360 degrees batting look orthodox and classical,” the cricketer-turned-commentator wrote in a Twitter post.
Only K L Rahul can make 360 degrees batting look orthodox and classical.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 6, 2020
KL Rahul not in India squad for New Zealand Tests
Rahul, however, failed to make it to the Test squad for the two-match series against New Zealand starting later this month. Former India speedster Zaheer Khan was of the opinion that Rahul could have been picked especially when ace opener Rohit Sharma is not available because of a calf injury.
Commentator-cum-analyst Harsha Bhogle also opined that Rahul could even prove to be handy if he batted down the order in Tests in place of the likes of Ajinkya Rahane. Rahul last played in a Test match in the West Indies last August-September.
Meanwhile, Kohli said New Zealand played outstanding cricket in the first ODI and felt the knock of 69 off 48 by his opposite number Tom Latham made the difference. He said Latham’s partnership with Taylor in the middle overs was unstoppable. The second ODI will be played in Auckland on Friday where the Men in Blue will aim to level the three-match series.