Venkatesh Prasad and Suniel Shetty prays for KL Rahul at a temple in New Jersey
Former Indian fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad is expressing optimism, much like many Indian cricket fans, about KL Rahul's potential return to peak form and his performance for India in the upcoming Asia Cup and ODI World Cup. The prominent wicketkeeper-batter was recently included in the Asia Cup squad on August 21, marking his comeback from a prolonged injury hiatus. This return was accompanied by the comebacks of Shreyas Iyer, Jasprit Bumrah, and Prasidh Krishna.
Taking to Twitter, Venkatesh Prasad shared that he and his close friend Suniel Shetty visited a temple in New Jersey, where they prayed for India's triumph in the World Cup and KL Rahul's resurgence in terms of form.
"Visited the Swami Narayan temple in New Jersey with Anna. Prayed for well being of all Bharatvasis & for the Indian Team to do well in the World Cup. Also secretly prayed for KL to smash it to all corners, have a great world cup and silence his critics like me. Sab khush rahein," Prasad said in a tweet.
Venkatesh Prasad has previously criticised KL Rahul
Significantly, Venkatesh Prasad had been among KL Rahul's most outspoken critics. During the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, he had raised doubts about the prolonged opportunities given to KL Rahul and his role as vice-captain in Test cricket. These doubts persisted despite Rahul's struggles to maintain consistency in the longest format of the game. An exchange of words on Twitter between Prasad and Aakash Chopra emerged, with Chopra questioning Prasad's relentless criticism of Rahul during the Test series against Australia. Rahul's struggle for form eventually led to him being dropped earlier this year.
Visited the Swami Narayan temple in New Jeresy with Anna.— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) August 22, 2023
Prayed for well being of all Bharatvasis & for the Indian Team to do well in the World Cup. Also secretely prayed for KL to smash it to all corners, have a great world cup and silence his critics like me.
Sab khush rahein. pic.twitter.com/CcVQif41yK
However, Prasad showered praise on Rahul when the wicketkeeper-batsman notched up a solid half-century during India's victorious encounter with Australia in an ODI, preceding the IPL 2023 season in Mumbai.
Rahul's journey has been marred by an injury sustained during the IPL 2023, specifically affecting his right thigh. This injury necessitated surgical intervention and a subsequent rehabilitation period. This unfortunate occurrence resulted in Rahul's sidelining from the game, presenting a considerable setback considering his remarkable performance in the IPL.