IND vs SA: “I Think His Role Is to Just Go Out There and Bat. Just Wanted Him to Go and Be KL Rahul, Dictate Terms from Ball One”- Anil Kumble on KL Rahul

IND vs SA Anil Kumble on KL Rahul

IND vs SA: Anil Kumble on KL Rahul

While India’s lineup has largely clicked in the buildup to the T20 World Cup and thus far in the tournament as well, opener KL Rahul has struggled for consistency.

KL Rahul‘s problems persisted on Thursday against the Netherlands, scoring just nine runs from 12 balls. having been dismissed for four in India’s dramatic opener against Pakistan on Sunday. It has led to a number of fans questioning India’s decision to stick with Rahul at the top of the order rather than try Rishabh Pant instead.

Rahul had returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines in late August and has since struggled for consistency. In the series leading up to the T20 World Cup, he had defeated South Africa twice with back-to-back half centuries, but the first one was a 56-ball 51.

IND vs SA Anil Kumble on KL Rahul

He Sort Of Switches On And Switches For Whatever Reason: Anil Kumble

The 30-year-old only has to “switch on,” according to spin legend Anil Kumble, who has worked with Rahul in the past as both the head coach of India and the Punjab Kings in the IPL. Rahul led the Punjab franchise, and his poor strike rate at the top of the order frequently drew criticism. 

Kumble said that he understood why Rahul tended to hunker down while playing for Punjab but it is a different situation when playing for India.

“In the IPL it was a different conversation. All of us kept saying, look, you are the best player. Just go out and bat normally. From ball one, go hard, do what you are good out,” on ESPNCricinfo.  

IND vs SA Anil Kumble on KL Rahul

“Especially in the powerplay I don’t think any bowler can keep him quiet. But I think when he played franchise cricket, he felt that he needed to bat longer because of the lineup he had and he was captain. You can say what you want from the outside but you can’t control what happens on the field.” 

“With the Indian team it is quite different. I think his role is to just go out there and bat. When I was coach, I didn’t want that to change, I just wanted him to go and be KL Rahul, dictate terms from ball one. I think he sort of switches on and switches for whatever reason.

We saw in his last game for Punjab against Chennai where we had to get those runs and have a crack at the net run rate, we saw what he can do. He just smashed everyone and Chennai had some good international bowlers,” said Kumble.  

In an IPL 2021 encounter against Punjab, who were under pressure to raise their net run rate, CSK scored 134/6. Rahul guided his team to a six-wicket victory with 42 balls remaining after blasting an unbeaten 98 off 42 balls while hitting seven fours and eight sixes.

 “So, 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,” he stated. 


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