Former Indian batsman Mohammad Kaif has described KL Rahul as a player who is willing to even lay down his life for the team’s cause. He made this observation during a discussion about the Indian opener’s knock in yesterday’s first T20I against Australia.
Mohammad Kaif started by comparing KL Rahul to his own former teammate Rahul Dravid, considering his willingness to play any role for the team.
“KL Rahul reminds me of Rahul Dravid. KL Rahul is ready to do anything, it shows that he is a team-player.”
The Delhi Capitals assistant coach highlighted that KL Rahul has plied his trade in different batting positions as per the demands of the team apart from donning the wicketkeeping gloves.
“If you play me at No.5, then I will do that role for the team. I will keep if you ask me to do that. Here you want me to open, I will do that as well.”
He added that players like KL Rahul, who keep the team’s benefit ahead of personal achievements, are a delight for any skipper.
“As a captain or team management, you are on the lookout for players like KL Rahul who is ready to lay down his life for the team. There are very few players who come like him.”
On being asked about KL Rahul’s strike rate, Mohammad Kaif pointed out that the Kings XI Punjab skipper started briskly but had to temper his game due to the loss of wickets at the other end.
“He played fast at the start but had to slow down when the wickets were falling. And he did not get the strike as well. Then once you get the strike, you are confused if you should play the big shot or take singles because you are losing out on overs.”
While acknowledging that KL Rahul could have gone on to play a more substantial knock, the hero of the NatWest Trophy triumph lauded the batsman for playing as per the demands of the situation.
“I feel it was a perfect innings. He started very well and later we do expect that he scores 80-90 runs but he got out. But overall it was a very good innings because a batsman wants to bat based on the situation.”
Mohammad Kaif signed off by observing that KL Rahul possesses the ability to wield the long handle but had to restrain himself because of the situation the Indian team was in.
“And it is not that he cannot play the big shots, whenever he wants he can play the big shots, he can also score 20 runs in an over but he did not change the gear intentionally because he felt that the wickets were falling and he wanted to play till the end.”
The Indian team reached a score of 86/2 after eleven overs, with KL Rahul having scored his half-century off 37 deliveries in yesterday’s encounter against Australia.
But with only six runs coming off the next sixteen balls, apart from Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey losing their wickets, the Indian vice-captain decided to go for a big shot and perished in the bargain.
We played with heart 💙
Thank you to all the fans that came out to show their support in Canberra 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/kmApiQhtDR
— K L Rahul (@klrahul11) December 4, 2020