KL Rahul Not Happy With The Performance of India’s Middle-order
By CricShots - Jan 20, 2022 4:44 pm
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The Indian stand-in skipper, KL Rahul accepted that they conceded 15-20 runs too much to South Africa in the first ODI against South Africa but rued the lack of partnerships from the Indian middle-order batters after they fell to a 31-run defeat at the Boland Park in Paarl. Speaking after the loss, KL Rahul pointed fingers at the middle-order after they were restricted to 265/8 in their quota of 50 overs.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul failed to do much in the first ODI

Team India was reduced from 138/1 to 199/7 in a matter of 10 overs after well-set batters Shikhar Dhawan (79) and Virat Kohli (51) departed in quick succession following a 92-run stand for the 2nd wicket. Rishabh Pant, who had headed into the ODI series after a hundred in the 3rd Test, and Shreyas Iyer, who returned to the XI failed to get going after which R Ashwin lost his wicket cheaply.

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Shardul Thakur hit his maiden ODI fifty in a valiant knock when the chips were down as the wickets kept tumbling from the other end. Talking about middle order, KL Rahul said, “There’s so much to learn. We started off really well, we couldn’t get wickets in the middle. We’ll look to see how we get wickets in the middle overs and stop the opposition. The middle-order couldn’t get going. I thought we would chase it down easily but SA bowled really well and got crucial wickets.”

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan played a fluent knock in the Paarl ODI

He further elaborated, “I didn’t bat after the 20th over, I don’t know if it changed drastically. Virat and Shikhar told that it was a good wicket to bat on, you just had to spend some time in the middle, unfortunately, we couldn’t get the partnership going. They did really well, they put pressure on the bowlers and we couldn’t get those wickets in the middle. 290+ was 20 runs extra, but we just needed more partnerships in the middle.”

India will look to bounce back when they take on the hosts in the 2nd ODI on Friday at the same venue. While the ongoing 3-match series is not part of the ODI Super League, KL Rahul said the series gives them a great opportunity to work on their shortcomings ahead of the next year’s World Cup.

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KL Rahul explained, “Every game is important for us, we all want to go out there and give our best performances. We haven’t played one-day cricket for a while, we have the WC in mind and we want to get the best XI on the park. We’ll make mistakes but we’ll learn from them.”