India opener KL Rahul has been facing the heat following his poor returns in the ongoing five-match T20I series against England which the hosts currently trail 1-2. In the three innings he has opened so far, Rahul has managed one run including two ducks in a row with calls of now him being dropped.

However, India captain Virat Kohli and batting coach Vikram Rathour have launched a staunch defense of the top-order batsman, saying he is their best T20 batsman and termed his current show as a ‘lean phase’. Batting legend VVS Laxman too has defended Rahul saying dropping him will not be the most prudent move considering he’s not going to play international cricket for a long time.

“He [Rahul] will have to play because he has not played much international cricket. He is not a regular member in Test matches now. But KL Rahul will be disappointed the way he got out in all three innings,” Laxman said on Star Sports.

Laxman then went on to explain exactly why Rahul, who has scored 1543 runs in 48 T20Is including two centuries, is struggling. “If we talk or think about KL Rahul’s batting, he is a technically correct batsman. He has scored centuries in Test cricket as well but the way both his feet are on the crease and the bat away from the body because of which a gap is seen between bat and pad,” Laxman said.

“So somewhere or the other I feel the self-confidence and rhythm that is generally seen in KL Rahul’s batting is not seen at all. His confidence level is low, so if you leave him out at this point, it will be a big setback for him,” he added.

The fourth T20I of the series will be played on Thursday while the fifth will be played on Saturday.