Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has asserted that KL Rahul could be India’s most crucial cog in T20Is and he has the ability to relieve pressure on Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli at India’s top-order if he breaks the shackles as the Asia Cup approaches its conclusion. Rahul has only played three T20Is this year all in the Asia Cup and is searching for his mojo before the all-important ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, scheduled to be played in Australia next month.
During a chat with Sanjana Ganesan in The ICC Review, Shane Watson said, “I just want him to be the best version of him,” Watson told Sanjana Ganesan in The ICC Review. “He’s got an array of shots against the best bowlers in the world that no one can stop. When he becomes more of an accumulator, like he was at Punjab Kings and also for Lucknow Super Giants (in the IPL), he’s slightly lower risk but can still play the big shots. I believe he’s better than that.”
He further added, “He can score at a 150-160 strike rate against the best bowlers in the world and that’d take a bit of pressure off Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as well. So for me, when KL Rahul is at his best, he’s really taking the game on. He’s not accumulating runs, he’s just taking them on, from ball one. That’s the skill he’s got.”
In fact, Shane Watson touted Rahul to be the main man for India in the shortest format of the game, stating his prime is yet to come.
Shane Watson explained, “He’s performed very well in international cricket for India in recent times. He’s that good. The skill that he’s got, he certainly can be the main man. And he’s only 30 as well. He’s still got three, four, or five years at his absolute prime at the international level.”
He further elaborated, “Batters normally take until they are 27, 28 or even into their early 30s for their whole game to come together technique, mental aspect as well. He’s still got a lot of years in his prime. “He can definitely take his game to that really high-performing, consistent level. That’s the skill he’s got.”
Shane Watson went on to compare Rahul to former Australian stylist Damien Martyn, saying Rahul was one of his favorite players to watch.