India opener KL Rahul is having a horror outing against England in the ongoing five-match T20I series which stands 2-1 in favor of the visitors who have won the first and third T20I, while India winning the second match.
However, for the Karnataka lad, the three matches have been nothing but nightmares, as he has scored just 1 run in three innings, and became the first Indian opener to score back-to-back ducks in T20Is, after him failing to open his account in the 2nd and 3rd matches. Though there have been calls to drop Rahul from the XI, captain Virat Kohli and Indian team management have backed the opener.
But former India opener Aakash Chopra has suggested a unique solution to keep Rahul in the playing XI, without making him open the innings.
I Wouldn’t Drop KL Rahul: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra felt KL Rahul is too gifted a batsman to be dropped despite repeated failures in the ongoing T20I series. He feels that it wouldn’t hurt India to tweak KL Rahul’s batting position to give him some breathing space.
“Changing the batting order will not be a deal-breaker. The player’s confidence won’t take a hit as well, since you haven’t dropped him from the side. He (referring to KL Rahul) can be given a new role, and once he performs well there he can go back at the top,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
How About Opening With Rohit-Ishan…Kohli At 3. And Rahul At 4?: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra, while backing KL Rahul to keep his place in India’s playing XI for the upcoming fourth T20I against England, suggested that he could drop down the order, with Ishan Kishan opening alongside Rohit Sharma.
The cricketer-turned-pundit also compared Rahul’s situation with that of Virat Kohli’s after the disastrous 2014 tour of England and how MS Dhoni decided to drop Virat Kohli down the order in the next series against the West Indies and helped him regain his form.
“Since Ind is unlikely to field 5 bowlers, how about opening with Rohit-Ishan…Kohli at 3. And Rahul at 4? Dhoni had also pushed Kohli down the order vs WI after that nightmarish tour to Eng in 2014. Sometimes a little change is all you need to regain form. My two cents. #INDvENG,” Chopra tweeted.
Since Ind is unlikely to field 5 bowlers, how about opening with Rohit-Ishan…Kohli at 3. And Rahul at 4? Dhoni had also pushed Kohli down the order vs WI after that nightmarish tour to Eng in 2014. Sometimes a little change is all you need to regain form. My two cents. #INDvENG
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 18, 2021
Virat Kohli came into the West Indies ODI series on the back of that disastrous tour against England in 2014. He batted at No. 3 in the first ODI but could only manage two runs. MS Dhoni then decided to promote Ambati Rayudu to no.3 position and dropped Kohli to No. 4 in the next game.
It helped Kohli a lot as he made 62 in the said match and then moved back to the no.3 spot in the next encounter, slamming a stunning 114 ball 127 at Dharamsala.
“I wouldn’t drop KL Rahul. I don’t think India would as well. I would be tempted to play Ishan Kishan at the top and play KL Rahul at 3. Or play Virat Kohli at 3 and KL Rahul at 4,” Chopra said.
KL Rahul is India’s top-ranked batsman in T20Is and his T20 average and strike rate of 40.60 and 143.13 are too good for him to be left out of the side.
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