Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar applauded KL Rahul for his hundred in the Super Fours clash against Pakistan in his comeback match during the Asia Cup 2023. Team India emerged victorious against Pakistan by 228 runs and later won their eighth Asia Cup title by defeating Sri Lanka in the final on September 17 as well. He scored a scintillating 111* off 106 deliveries vs Pakistan.
Speaking to India Today following Team India’s Asia Cup win, Gavaskar said, “The most important thing was the self-belief he showed in that particular century. Often, I have always said… I have said about him way back in 2016 or 17 that he is going to be the next big thing in Indian cricket. If he hasn’t, he himself has to be blamed because I don’t think he actually realises how good a player he is. Sometimes, when he is batting, when is on the field, he gives the impression that he is not very confident about himself. On the field, you want that confidence to come through. You saw that confidence in that Pakistan innings. He got to play like that every time. He does sometimes play like that in the IPL. But now to see him bat the way that he did was absolutely wonderful.”
The veteran batter also scored another steady 39 runs in the next game against Sri Lanka in a low-scoring affair, helping India win by 41 runs. Overall, Rahul finished with 169 runs at an average of 84.50 and a strike rate of almost 90 in the Asia Cup 2023 as well. Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar believed that KL Rahul also proved his fitness quite well during his century against Pakistan, particularly running between the wickets with someone like Virat Kohli, who is one of the best in it.
“Very, very good to see him fit. We all knew what his quality is. He has proven it over such a long time. The only question mark would have been about his fitness and in that century knock against Pakistan, he showed his fitness because it was not just a question of playing a long innings, but also running between the wickets. And who are you running with? Probably the fastest runner in the game between 22 yards, Virat Kohli. He did that so well. And later on came and kept wickets for a major part. That 100 percent proves his fitness. He now gives so much bulk to the middle-order. He, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya are absolutely unbelievable. This is turning out be a very, very good Indian team,” concluded Sunil Gavaskar.