HomeCricketKL Rahul - The 5itting enforcer

KL Rahul – The 5itting enforcer

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A specialist opening batsman. A reliable one down batter who clubs efficiency and stroke play with a sense of style. A wicketkeeping batter whose skill with the glove allows India the extra scope to factor in a specialist player thus offering a sense of versatility to the playing eleven. 

What’s more? 

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As seen in the more recent times, a specialist number five batsman, but one without whom you can’t imagine the current design of the limited overs Indian side. 

KL Rahul, truth be told, has given his everything to each different role that he’s been tasked with up to this point. 

He’s ever evolving. There is really no end to his potential being explored for the sake of his nation. 

It could be argued, KL Rahul has been the journeyman whose central line of duty is to accept challenges with glee and score runs for India without much of a hue and cry. 

And quite frankly, KL Rahul has done anything but disappoint a country for whom, given the enormity of competition, consistent run scoring is perhaps akin to walking on broken glass nearly every single time.    

But what’s fascinating is just how much has the make up of the Indian cricket team changed as on date to where it was at the time of KL Rahul’s much-anticipated and widely-followed arrival in national colours. 

The technically-correct right handed batsman arrived donning the bright blues back in 2016. Back then, the legendary Dhoni was the captain, Dhawal Kulkarni led the attack and the great Jasprit Bumrah was a first change option for the one day side. 

To give a sense of time as to when Rahul arrived, Rayudu was a middle order batsman and Yuzvendra Chahal had only just begun. 

Rahul, by the way, did arrive in style stroking a gleeful hundred in his maiden assignment in Zimbabwe.  

Today, as the dashing Karnataka batsman turns 31 but not before coming wishing a shooting distance of 2000-ODI runs having already conjured 2642 in Tests, his team wears a significantly drastic look. 

There’s no Virat Kohli as captain. Dhoni, the king is already a former player. Bumrah features in a playing line up only when fitness allows, and while the likes of Shaw and Samson are often in and out of the team given tough selection decisions, the entire team features a youthful DNA with Gill and Pant being the young faces. 

And there’s KL Rahul, a senior figure whose experience and epic stroke making can diffuse pressure and give an able direction to a younger generation that looks up to him  as a path giver. 

Amongst these interesting and changing times for Team India, KL Rahul also has to be the man who can be Rohit Sharma’s go to batsman in times of duress. 

In a sense, he’s quite the middle path between the ferocity of Virat Kohli and the lofty batsmanship of Rohit Sharma. 

It’s his calmness and ability to keep the wits about himself during pressure as seen in the first (of the three) ODI against Australia (at the Wankhede) that culminated in 75 valuable runs that India most need. 

It could be argued that to a team whose lofty hitters are Suryakumar and Ishan, a side that’s beautified by Virat and Rohit’s eclectic strokeplay, KL Rahul plays the part of the calm headed rescuer that digs the side out of trouble in tense situations. 

With his proclivity to combine power with a dash of timing, Rahul is patience that India’s youth often falters with given its erratic ways of being with the bat and at the same time, Rahul is the holder of an end when someone else desires playing the wrecker in chief. 

It’s not that everything has always gone right for the man sporting wrists flicks and a temperamentally sorted aptitude as a modern marksman. 

KL Rahul lost his way in the Test side. Given his woeful batting in the 2023 Tests against  Australia, he wa dropped from the Indore Teat and subject to endless scrutiny over social media. 

There was a time where a rather debatable appearance on a coffee show earned him the ire of the opinionated public when maybe runs scored for India in a winning cause should’ve made him some national highlight. 

Moreover, as seen in the ongoing IPL, KL is batting with a sense of sluggishness that often hampers his team’s scoring rates. 

But you’d rather place with watchful and cautiousness over irrational exuberance- wouldn’t you? 

One suspects, at a time where cricket’s obsessive template has become the wham-bam style of play, KL Rahul couldn’t really get a better practice right ahead of the ODI World Cup than getting this golden opportunity to face one and all and that too in India’s own den- whether Rashid, Alzarri, Rabada, Green, or Nortje. 

It could be argued that captaincy even in the form of an IPL assignment as seen in the case of his Lucknow outfit have given KL the ability to take key decisions when confronting pressure. 

It’s calmed him down and made him think before he acts. 

And where some of the world’s best middle over batsmen are concerned, those who are going to take part in the approaching ODI World cup, whether a Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Nicholas Pooran, Ben Stokes, Henry Nicholls, or Matthew Wade, KL Rahul will continue to be in the eyes of the onlookers. 

Now it’s up to him whether to bring out his best for India at a time they really deserve it or watch others around him form globetrotting headlines. 

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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