While KL Rahul has been getting trolled all over the internet, two other ex-cricketers – Venkatesh Prasad and Aakash Chopra – are hogging the headlines from the past few days, involving their comments on the India opener.
Now, after Venkatesh Prasad’s lashing out at the opener, and those defending KL Rahul for his overseas pedigree, Chopra has also come out with some stats countering Prasad’s arguments, and those demanding Rahul’s omission from the Test team.
Aakash Chopra Backed KL Rahul Amidst Criticism
Chopra, currently employed with Star Sports for the commentary job in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, made it clear that he’s isn’t eyeing any gig with the BCCI or in the IPL when some fans chastised him on defending KL Rahul, in particular, the team management’s decision on giving KL Rahul a long run.
He shared the screenshots of Rahul’s average of 38.64, which is the third best among all Indian batters. Rohit and Washington Sundar (only 1 Test) are in the first and second position respectively in SENA countries since 2020.
“Indian batters in SENA countries. Maybe, this is the reason selectors/coach/captain are backing KLR. He’s played 2 Tests at home (ongoing BGT) during this period,” Chopra wrote on Twitter.
KL Rahul hit centuries in England and South Africa in 2021 while most of the other batters remained inconsistent on those tours. Rahul also has played little at home in the past few years in Test cricket.
Chopra gave a stern reply to those who said the former batsman wishes to take up a coaching role with the BCCI or a mentor role in the IPL and that’s why he’s defending the Indian team management.
“No, I don’t need a BCCI role as a selector/coach. I don’t need any mentor, or coaching role at any IPL team either,” he added.
Indian batters in SENA countries. May be, this is the reason selectors/coach/captain are backing KLR. He’s played 2 Tests at home (ongoing BGT) during this period
No, I don’t need a BCCI role as a selector/coach
I don’t need any mentor, coaching role at any IPL team either 🙏 pic.twitter.com/qV6qo6Plvt
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 21, 2023
Since the start of 2022, KL Rahul averages only 15 in 11 Test innings.
KL Rahul has not gone past the score of 25 in his last 10 Test innings.
Head coach Rahul Dravid, though, threw his weight behind KL Rahul, saying that the opener will be backed.
“I think he needs to trust his processes. This is just a phase, he has been one of our most successful overseas openers. He’s got hundreds in South Africa and England, we’ll continue to back him,” Dravid said.
Dravid is optimistic that Rahul will come out of this rut.
“I believe he has the quality and class to come out of this. It is great working with this unit, managing formats is the most difficult part. But there’s not a lot of technical coaching, just simple conversations and challenging them, and giving them a pat on the back when they do well,” he said.
It would be interesting to see if India retains Rahul for the third Test against Australia, starting March 1 in Indore.