‘Time for KL Rahul to pull up his socks’ - Former India pacer reflects on star batter's T20I future

KL Rahul has been one of India’s most prolific run-scorers in the shortest format in recent years, but his strike-rate has often been questioned.
Image courtesy: Twitter

Rahul is one of the only two Indians to have scored two or more T20I hundreds.

Despite the absence of KL Rahul and the scratchy form of skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, India secured a 2-1 T20I series win against England recently. That was after a 2-2 drawn result against South Africa at home, followed by a 2-0 sweep of Ireland last month - both coming in absence of a host of senior players.

Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya have infused a new found intent and aggression in the T20I setup, setting it up for fruitful results.

Meanwhile, Rahul, continued his T20 consistency during the IPL 2022 with 616 runs at 51.33, before having undergone a surgery for sports hernia in Germany recently, and the recovery is expected to take some time.

Rahul has been one of India’s top T20 batsmen in recent years. With 1,832 runs at 40.68, he is the team’s third highest run-scorer after Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, and has two hundreds. He has aggregated 593 or more in each of the last five IPL seasons, but the strike-rate has often been questioned of late.

Dodda Ganesh, the former India quick, asked for Rahul to bat with more intensity in the shortest format, as shown by Hooda and Suryakumar in recent times.

"Hooda and SKY with their intent have shown how T20 batting is done. It's time KL Rahul too pulls up his socks and bats the way he used to in 2016/17. If he continues to play the waiting game like he does in the IPL, he'll struggle to keep his place," Ganesh, who represented India in four Tests and an ODI in 1997, wrote on Twitter.

"Shaw, Hooda, SKY and Samson. These kind of batsmen who bat at the top gear no matter what, are the need of the hour as far as modern day T20 batting is concerned. Selectors need to take notice of this," he wrote in another tweet.

Rahul, who is still undergoing recovery, was overlooked for India’s ODI squad for their three-match series in West Indies later this season, with Shikhar Dhawan set to lead the side in the absence of other senior members.