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KL Rahul: Bringing stability to India's WC campaign
11/13/2023 10:31:13 PM
BENGALURU, Nov 13: In the run-up to ODI World Cup, KL Rahul was the pet troll of social media rabble-rousers. An often-fragile fitness, a propensity to start slow in T20s etc made him an easy target of the troll gangs.
For many, his failure was pre-destined but his contribution to India's semifinal entry, in front and behind the stumps, in the showpiece has transformed the narrative around him. While coming at No. 5, Rahul's role as a batsman is not easy - he either has very few overs to make an impact after a top-order mayhem or he has to consolidate after a top-order malfunction.
The Bengaluru man had to do both the jobs in the World Cup and excelled in them too, bringing in that much-needed stability in the middle-order.
It is all the more important because India no longer have the luxury of all-rounder Hardik Pandya coming in at No. 6.
Here are some samples of Rahul's work. At Chennai against Australia, Rahul came to the crease when India were two for three after the departure of Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer.
He repaired the tattered innings in the company of Virat Kohli (85) while making an unbeaten 97 for himself off 115 balls.
He faced a similar situation against England at Lucknow while coming in at 40 for three and stabilised the innings while scoring 39 off 58 balls and shared a 91-run partnership with captain Rohit Sharma.
Rahul was left with the job of steering the ship to the port against Bangladesh after the top-order fired in unison while chasing 257, and he remained unbeaten on 34.
The match against the Netherlands on Sunday, perhaps, was the first time Rahul got a chance to express himself without any riders attached.
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