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Aakash Chopra backs ‘match winner’ KL Rahul after recent slump in form

Written by Vipin Darwade

Akash Chopra has backed Indian batsman KL Rahul despite recent slump in form and said that there’s no point asking questions, doubting a match-winner over a couple of failed innings. KL Rahul was the top ranked batsman until last week, just ahead of the 1st T20I, when he dropped a spot in the ICC rankings to take the No. 3 position.

KL Rahul has maintained himself as a versatile cricketer who can be translated into any batting position in the top and middle-order. The 28-year-old took up wicketkeeping duties last year as Rishabh Pant was dropped from the side in New Zealand and in the white-ball leg of the Australia tour.

“If we start asking questions about a runaway match-winner after just two low-scores, we aren’t going to build a team that’ll win the World Cup. If it’s Rahul today, it’ll be Ishan tomorrow…Pant day after. And then…will have a team of insecure players,” Aakash Chopra tweeted on Monday (March 15).

In a rare show of back to back failed knocks for KL, the batsman managed to score a 1 and a zero in the 1st and 2nd T20Is, respectively. However, Rahul averages over 40 in the shortest format for India and a massive strike rate of 143.66 shows how big an asset he is to the side. The criticisms being hurled at KL Rahul might thus be premature.

India recorded a 7-wicket win over England in the 2nd T20I to level the series at 1-1. The two teams will lock horns in Ahmedabad, behind closed doors at the Narendra Modi stadium, for the 3rd T20I on Tuesday (March 16).

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Vipin Darwade