Legendary Indian cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar has lauded KL Rahul for helping India to get over the line in the first ODI against Australia in Mumbai. Hardik Pandya and his men managed to bundle out the Aussies for 188 after asking them to bat first. Rahul then scored an unbeaten 75 off 91 deliveries as the Men in Blue chased down the target with five wickets and 61 deliveries to spare to start the three-match series on a positive note.
During a post-match discussion on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar was asked about his thoughts on KL Rahul’s knock, he said, “We said earlier as well that he has the technique and temperament but sometimes you need luck as well. Just like Virat Kohli, he was getting out to his first mistake, but his body language didn’t use to be like Virat Kohli’s.”
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The former Indian skipper praised Rahul for ensuring that India got across the line, he said: “Virat Kohli used to get out but still his body language was different, he was confident. You could not have said the same thing about Rahul. But the way he batted today, he repaid the team management for the faith shown in him. He stayed till the end, it was not that he could do anything as he had scored a fifty.”
India was in a spot of bother when Ravindra Jadeja joined came out to bad alongside Rahul when India was reeling at 83/5 at the fall of Hardik Pandya’s wicket. The duo strung together an unbroken 108-run sixth-wicket partnership to take the team home.
Sanjay Bangar pointed out that the presence of a batter like KL Rahul in the middle order stood India in good stead in Friday’s game. He said, “Whoever bats at multiple positions, it becomes a strong point for them. He has been exposed to different-different situations. I feel it was a huge advantage that India had a player at No. 5 who could play well down the order and against the new ball as well.”
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The former Indian batting coach added that the wicketkeeper-batter put forth a strong case for himself for a middle-order berth for the World Cup later this year. KL Rahul surpassed the 50-run mark in 73 balls with the help of seven fours and a six during his innings. He scored 25 runs off the next 18 balls he faced.