He played a top-quality knock: Aakash Chopra defends KL Rahul’s innings against South Africa in 1st T20I

Written by Mohan Sharma

Aakash Chopra has jumped to KL Rahul’s defense after the Indian vice-captain faced criticism for playing a slow knock during the first T20I against South Africa. Chopra said that KL Rahul played a top-quality knock and he was right to have opted for a safety-first approach in tricky conditions.

Suryakumar Yadav’s unbeaten 50 off 33 balls got India over the line despite KL Rahul’s struggles on a track where South Africa were left tottering at 9/5 at the start of the game on Wednesday. Rahul scored a fifty but his batting at the other end on the same strip became an ordeal as India had their lowest ever Powerplay score on board.

Just because there was no scoreboard pressure, Rahul could once play his waiting game and the only shot worth appreciating was a six off Nortje. In fact, Rahul hit India’s slowest fifty in the T20I format during the series opener against South Africa.

“People are just blasting Rahul for his knock, I can’t understand why. If you are chasing only 107, and the conditions are difficult, why will the batter look to hit? It is okay to score ugly runs as well, it takes courage and guts,” Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“Had he decided to start striking the ball and got out instead of settling, then that would have been irresponsible. He batted really well, in my opinion: respected the conditions and the situation and played accordingly. So please cut him some slack,” Chopra added.

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Mohan Sharma