Run-machine KL Rahul continues to inspire confidence

KL Rahul has been impressive and one of the consistent performers in the Indian domestic circuit. He possesses an ice-cool temperament and has a huge hunger for runs. His 96 against Australia A on Wednesday, bailed India A out from troubled waters.  Suraj Choudhari takes a closer look at one of the future stars in Indian cricket.

The 23-year-old right-handed promising batsman from Karnataka has had a great run in First-Class cricket. His strength is his technique and over the preceding months he has won plaudits from some of the greats of the game.

Prior to his innings on Wednesday, Rahul averaged 56.81 in 34 First-Class matches; this speaks much about his consistency against the red ball. In fact, having played just seven First-Class games in 2014-15 season, Rahul topped the domestic charts with 1174 runs, with the second best being Robin Uthappa with 1158 runs. Rahul’s average of almost 98 says it all. His stunning show with the willow earned him a Test spot in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

After a nightmarish debut in the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne, Rahul made the headlines with his tenacious century in the Sydney Test when he opened the batting for India. Having it delivered when the pressure was on him testifies his ability to flourish under pressure.

Illness prevented him from taking part in the one-off Test against Bangladesh recently, where he was set to open the batting with Murali Vijay. In Indian cricket, often have we seen the story of ‘out of sight and out of mind’ coming true but ahead of the team’s selection against Sri Lanka, Rahul with a gutsy 96 against Australia ensured that wasn’t the case.

In the ongoing unofficial Test against Australia A, Rahul, who opened for India A, weathered the early storm along with skipper Cheteshwar Pujara and rescued the side to a decent total of 301. He scored runs on a pitch where most of the batsmen struggled. His timely knock ensured him a berth to Sri Lanka for the three-match Test series starting next month. He would anyways made it to the squad but it’s always good when you back your selection with runs.

The A-games are an excellent platform for the fringe and young players to showcase their class and Rahul is certainly making the utmost use of it. Rahul’s inclusion along with Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan has put the selectors in a dilemma with the opening pair.

Vijay is considered to be a Test specialist and has justified his selection, where Dhawan has sealed the spot with his belligerent 173 in the Fatullah Test. It’s likely that Rahul will have to contest for the No.3 spot with Pujara and Rohit Sharma.

 

 

(Suraj Choudharian avid cricket follower who plays the sport at club level, is a staffer with Criclife)

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