Asia Cup 2022: KL Rahul Has Rohit Sharma-Like Abilities - Gautam Gambhir Backs Indian Opener

Updated - 02 Sep 2022, 05:08 PM

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. Pic Credit: Twitter

Former Indian player Gautam Gambhir backed opening batter, KL Rahul, amid a high level of criticism for playing slow in his recent innings of the ongoing Asia Cup 2022.

India has made it through to the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup 2022 with victories over Pakistan and Hong Kong in Group A.

The Rohit Sharma-led side looks promising to defend the continental title after senior players put in a great amount of effort. The likes of Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, and Suryakumar Yadav have made a difference with their performances in the last two games.

One thing that is haunting India is the under-fire openers who are yet to make an impact in the tournament. Skipper Rohit made scores of 12 & 21 in the two innings so far, and Rahul, on the other hand, is biding his time since coming from an injury break.

The Karnataka batter was dismissed for a golden duck by Pakistan debutant pacer Naseem Shah in the first game. Rahul scored 39 off 36 balls, smashing two sixes, against Hong Kong. 

KL Rahul. PC-Getty
KL Rahul. PC-Getty

KL Rahul has Rohit Sharma-like abilities: Gautam Gambhir

Rahul’s sluggish approach drew the attention of experts to question him over his form and doubts were thrown over his position in the T20 World Cup squad. 

Gambhir, who has worked closely with Rahul in the IPL for Lucknow Super Giants, said the opener will gain confidence from his innings against Hong Kong. 

When he hit a six of that medium pacer (Haroon Arshad), the next ball was also in the same slot. If he could have got one more big hit, the momentum would have shifted. KL Rahul has so much ability. I will confidently say that in the Indian dressing room he has Rohit Sharma-like abilities, maybe a bit more than that,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.

KL Rahul, Gautam Gambhir
KL Rahul, Gautam Gambhir. Image Credits: Twitter

He has shown that in international cricket. I hope with this 39-ball stay, he will have the confidence to play freely in the next matches,” he added.

Gautam Gambhir speaks on the pressure of scoring runs in series before World Cup tournaments

Gambhir was an integral part of India’s 2011 World Cup-winning team and his 91-run knock in the final against Sri Lanka will always be there in the hearts of Indian fans.

The former Indian opener cited his own experience of carrying pressure to score runs in the bilateral series ahead of the World Cup.

You talked about pressure, when you are so close to the World Cup, you think of scoring big runs so that you are on that plane to the World Cup. So, you don’t want, you don’t have runs in your bag. I had felt the same ahead of the 2011 Word Cup, during the South Africa series. The pressure that I felt to score runs in that series was more than the pressure that I felt in other series,” Gambhir mentioned.

India will play their first match of the Super 4 stage with the winner between Pakistan vs Hong Kong.

Also Read: IND vs HK: Hopefully, KL Rahul Is Not Worried About The Orange Cap Next Year – Harsha Bhogle

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Gautam Gambhir India National Cricket Team KL Rahul Rohit Sharma