Rahul was expected to lead India’s charge from the opening slot in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, but 3 outings in the tournament so far has produced just 22 runs with the list reading 4, 9, 9.
With India entering the field on Wednesday (November 2) against Bangladesh in an essential-to-win match at the Adelaide Oval, a lot of focus will be on Rahul’s outing.
It’s bound to be so because his lean run has robbed India of a powerful start in the power play in this tournament. But that has not hindered the team management to back Rahul.
“I think he’s a fantastic player and he’s got a proven track record. He’s done really well. I thought he’s been batting superbly. These things can happen in a T20 game sometimes. It’s been a tough — it’s not been that easy for the sort of top order batsmen. This tournament has been pretty challenging.
“I thought he was superb — maybe a lot of you were not there, but in the practice game against Australia with Mitchell Starc and Patrick Cummins. It was a pretty good attack, and I thought he batted superbly that day, to get 50 or 60.
“So he’s actually playing really well. Just hoping it all clicks together over the next three or four games, and yeah, we know his quality, we know his ability, and he’s really well suited for these kind of conditions, these kind of pitches.
“He’s got a good all-around game. He’s got a very good strong back-foot game which is obviously very much required in these conditions,” said India head coach Rahul Dravid in the pre-match press conference.
Dravid also emphasised that the team management can afford to give Rahul some more time to get in to his groove.
“In these conditions, maybe we are able to afford him that time, and like I said, to answer the question, we completely back him. We have no concerns about him. I think in Rohit’s and my mind, there’s absolutely no doubt about who’s going to open for us,” said Dravid.
It is as much a strong backing as any a player can get from his captain or coach. There is no question about the fact that such support will naturally boost a player’s confidence who is going through a bit of trough.
Now, the ball is Rahul’s court to respond to the backing he has received from the backroom. Anil Kumble, who knows Rahul better than the most, said the India opener needed to switch on.
“It is just a matter of Rahul switching on. It is not about any conversation any of us can have, it is just about him feeling that today is when I will start hitting shots or be tentative. We don’t know,” Kumble said in a show by ESPNCricinfo.
Rahul in full flow is a sight to behold, effortlessly dismantling the bowlers. So, will Rahul flick that inner switch on against Bangladesh today?