Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir said that although he completely agrees with Team India’s decision to play six bowlers in the series-decider against England, he feels that KL Rahul should have been given another chance.
India made a tough call to leave KL Rahul out in the fifth and final T20I in order to include an extra seamer in T Natarajan.
In KL Rahul’s absence, skipper Virat Kohli promoted himself to the top of the order alongside Rohit Sharma, and the move paid off substantially as India got off to a rollicking start with the opening duo smashing 94 runs in just 8.5 overs.
Rahul, on the other hand, endured a forgettable T20I series where he managed scores of 1,0,0 and 14.
Gambhir conceded that including Rahul in the playing 11 would have denied India a chance to play six bowling options but he still feels that the team-management should have given him another chance to regain his form.
The former opener added that Rahul should play all the three ODIs against England as he feels that the Karnataka opener’s confidence will take a beating if he is once again consigned to the bench.
”Dropping anyone will not do them any favour. He (Rahul) will have to play three ODIs. Someone is out of form, the only way you can bring them back is by giving them more opportunities,” Gautam said on ESPNCricinfo. ”Because when you are sitting on the bench, it is not a good feeling. Because you know you have been dropped, and that feeling is not the best feeling,” he added.
“India went with six bowlers, I completely agree with that. Because India were always one bowler short. And the only way that could have been done was by dropping KL Rahul and picking a bowler. And that’s what they have done. But ideally, they should have given him another game. But they could not have fit him with six bowlers, had KL Rahul played this game,” he signed off.
The three-match ODI series between India and England will kickstart from March 23 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.