Former New Zealand all-rounder, Scott Styris stated that India top-order batter KL Rahul has an opportunity to become a star for his side as Pakistan seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi will not be taking part in the upcoming Asia Cup. Shaheen Afridi was ruled out of the Pakistan squad for the marquee event due to a knee injury.
Shaheen Shah Afridi suffered the injury during the recent Test series against Sri Lanka in Galle. The southpaw pacer will also miss his home series against England, but is expected to return to action before the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
Talking about the same during a chat on SPORTS18, Scott Styris said, “First of all, with regards to KL Rahul, I wouldn’t be worried either. I’d be worried if he’d be facing 5-10 balls each innings but the last one in particular 46 deliveries I think it was. If that’s the case, it means that time in the middle is coming and that means that he will become more and more fluent, game time in the middle? Far more valuable than the nets.”
He further added, “So, I expect he’ll be ready to go against Pakistan. Now, for that one? I’m with you though, I think he’s going to go okay. The reason is for that is no Shaheen Afridi, we know that he’s out injured, the way he attacks the stumps that is the way you get KL Rahul out. LBW and bowled. The fact that the main man who exposes that weakness is not there. I think KL Rahul has got an opportunity to be the star still, that we know he is because as Saba rightly pointed out, the pedigree is there.”
KL Rahul came back to competitive cricket for the first time since the conclusion of the 2022 Indian Premier League. He was supposed to lead India during the five-match T20I series against South Africa but he suffered an injury for which he went to Germany for surgery.
Rahul’s return was further delayed as he tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the T20I series against West Indies. He eventually returned and led India to a three-match ODI series clean sweep over Zimbabwe. He, however, was seen struggling with bat as he scored 1 and 30 in the second and third matches in Harare.