Former India opener, Aakash Chopra opines that KL Rahul should be given a longer rope and be kept in the playing eleven. He suggests, since Rahul is having issues in the last three games – scores of 1, 0, and 0 – at the top, he can be shifted to the middle-order temporarily because India does have opening options; but Aakash Chopra is strictly against the dropping of Rahul.
Aakash Chopra says that a batsman, in this case KL Rahul, needs the support of his captain and management when he is low on confidence due to poor form. The 43-year-old believes the management should keep faith in the Karnataka skipper.
“I think India should keep playing him and that’s how you really support a batsman. Because when you are in good form you don’t really need any support, you don’t want someone to put a hand on your shoulder, look after your back – everything takes care of itself when you are amongst the runs,” Aakash Chopra told ESPNcricinfo.
“But when you are not scoring runs, when you are down on confidence, whether it’s mental or technical, or both, the fact is that is where you need the team to stand by you, stand with you, and I would actually give him a really long rope.
“So if anything, I may toy with the idea of putting him at number 3 or 4 for a couple of games before bringing him back at the top. But I will not entertain the thought of dropping him at this point of time,” he added.
He has been rusty but he is a match-winner in the T20 format: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra points out that Rahul has not played cricket for more than three months and hence has been rusty against England. However, the former KKR batsman asserts that the Punjab Kings skipper has been in sumptuous batting form in the last two years, both for India and in the IPL – hence, the team should be just patient with him for now.
“India should not be overly worried about KL Rahul’s form for a variety of reasons: one, T20 is a format where you are likely to fail more often than any other format; second, KL Rahul hasn’t played competitive cricket for a while.
“He was the highest run-scorer in the IPL and played only white-ball cricket in Australia. Since then he hasn’t played any red-ball cricket, no competitive cricket in the interim. Therefore he has been rusty and last, but not least, he is a runaway match-winner in the T20 format or in white-ball cricket.
“When you look at the last two years he is India’s stand-out batsman, and for somebody with that kind of numbers over the last couple of years, you should be more patient. [So] of course, no worried at all,” the former India opener maintained.