KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Team India opener KL Rahul has all but guaranteed a spot at the top of the order with the way he played in the first Test and the hunger he has shown so far, according to former Indian middle-order batsman Mohammad Kaif. He also stated that Rahul’s form bodes well for Virat Kohli’s men.

After going through a rough patch of late, Rahul was under the pump coming into the 5-match Test series against England. His spot in the team itself was in doubt, but an unfortunate injury to Mayank Agarwal paved the way for his inclusion at the top of the order. Speaking about Rahul’s mindset during the match, Kaif said:

You want to win the game on your own. When opening the batting for the Punjab team, you want to be a match-winner. He’s taken the same approach in Test matches. He wants to be the guy to hang in there and score runs. Mein doosro keliye nahi chodunga (I won’t leave it up to the others). That comes with experience. He’s been part of the Test squad for two years but he hasn’t got a chance to play.

Mohammad Kaif, KL Rahul
KL Rahul [Image- Twitter]
He’s been traveling around, probably just watching from the outside and thinking about his game and everything’s come together for him nicely. It’s a great sign for Indian cricket and for Virat Kohli as well. Because as an opener when you go abroad, what KL did in the last game – if he keeps doing that, India’s got a good chance of winning matches,” said Kaif.

“KL Rahul has sealed the deal and we’ll see from there” – Mohammad Kaif

Mohammad Kaif
Mohammad Kaif for Delhi Capitals (BCCI/IPL)

Rahul scored a well-measured 84 in the first innings which was crucial in India sneaking ahead of England’s tally of 183. Eventually, a couple of lower-order contributions swelled up the lead and put India in pole position to win the match. Having impressed in the first game, Rahul has pretty much made the opener slot his own, as per Kaif.

Rahul has sealed the deal. He’ll play a couple of Test matches, there’s no doubt about that. He looked in control and India were in a winning position because of that opening stand between Rohit and Rahul – 97 runs in the first innings.

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal (Image Credit: Twitter)

The way KL Rahul batted, he held the innings at one end. You need someone who can bat long. KL has sealed the deal and we’ll see from there. I think Mayank will have to wait for now,” Kaif said about Mayank’s chances in the tour.

Going into the second Test at Lord’s, India is likely to make any changes, at least on the batting forefront. Ravichandran Ashwin may replace Shardul Thakur after the latter was ruled out on the eve of the third Test due to injury.

Also Read – Extent of James Anderson and Stuart Broad’s Injuries Unknown: Jonny Bairstow