Asia Cup 2022: KL Rahul Registered A New Shameful Record vs Hong Kong
KL Rahul Registered A New Shameful Record vs Hong Kong: India opener KL Rahul’s return to international cricket has been full of obstacles. After a two-month-long injury layoff, Rahul registered scores of 1 and 30 in Zimbabwe before, in the Asia Cup 2022, he was bowled for a golden duck against Pakistan.
He was under pressure for runs against Hong Kong and that pressure forced him into a shell that just couldn’t come out of. Eventually, Rahul got out for 36 runs scores from 39 balls! He batted at a strike rate of 92 against Hong Kong leaving everyone baffled.
KL Rahul gets an embarrassing record to his name
With this innings, KL Rahul now has the fifth worst strike rate by an Indian in men’s T20I for a batsman who has played a minimum of 35 balls in an innings.
This is quite an unwanted and embarrassing list to get himself into for KL Rahul who is known for his flair, timing and elegance. But, against Hong Kong, he almost abstained from playing attacking shots: in his 39 balls, he hit only 2 sixes and no fours.
This list - of worst strike rates by an Indian men’s batter in T20Is - is topped by Ravindra Jadeja, who scored 25 runs in 35 balls (strike rate of 71) against England in 2009. MS Dhoni is second on this list for his strike rate of 78 (29* runs off 37 balls) against Australia in 2019. Ishan Kishan, Dinesh Mongia and KL Rahul follow them.
KL Rahul’s intent now a concern for Team India
KL Rahul’s slow-go vs Hong Kong raised questions about his intent and approach, more so because Rahul is the vice-captain and the T20 World Cup in Australia is less than two months away.
While India and skipper Rohit Sharma have endorsed an aggressive brand of cricket, KL Rahul’s innings was anything but. He hit 2 sixes and no fours in his stay which lasted about an hour.
Rahul just refused to show intent at the start of his innings: he was batting on 4 runs off 11 balls before he got a free-hit, when finally he opened up his arms to send Haroon Arshad for a six and his first proper intentful shot.
After that, KL Rahul again went back into his shell while Kohli also started slowly following Rohit Sharma’s dismissal. Both Rahul and Kohli exchanged a series of singles and doubles with the latter scoring only 16 runs in 20 balls in the powerplay.
Rahul broke his shackles once again in the 9th to clobber Aizaz Khan over deep-midwicket and his strike also shot up over 100 for that moment. But it dipped back again after he played down more dots and dealt in more singles.
Eventually, on the last ball of the 13th over, Rahul got out to spinner Mohammad Ghazanfar, edging while trying to slog him and the wicket-keeper, Scott McKechnie, took a good juggling catch to complete KLR’s dismissal.
Everyone - fans and former cricketers alike - were confused and frustrated by KL Rahul’s counter-productive batting against Hong Kong.