KL Rahul’s inability to convert talent into performance for Team India in one-day internationals has been a pain point for both the team management and the fans. India has witnessed Rahul’s easy on the eye technique and ability to get big runs but all that has been too sporadic.
The result was that the talented batsman lost his place in the ODI side, before being drafted into the squad for the ICC World Cup on the back of a good show in the IPL. While many thought Rahul was the ideal choice for the much debated number 4 slot, chief selector MSK Prasad set the cat among the pigeons by stating all-rounder Vijay Shankar’s name as a possible number 4 choice.
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Rahul though got the nod to bat at number 4 in the warm-up match against New Zealand as Shankar was sidelined due to an injury. But the Karnataka batsman failed to get going against the Kiwis as India’s top order disintegrated in the face of some quality swing bowling by the Kiwis.
Rahul though would not let a second chance get away as he sealed the deal against Bangladesh in the second warm-up match. Coming in to bat after India had lost both their openers and were off to a rather slow start, Rahul eased into his innings by playing second fiddle to captain Virat Kohli, who too was hitting it well.
Vijay Shankar came in to bat after Kohli departed but couldn’t do much as he was sent back for 2. Rahul slowly took centre stage and strung a century partnership with the experienced MS Dhoni to take India out of a precarious situation.
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He then cut loose, making the most of Bangladesh’s mediocre bowling in the middle overs. Rahul was at his strokeful best as he hit 4 maximums and 12 boundaries to score 108 off just 99 deliveries.
This innings might just have secured the number four slot for Rahul as India look to start their campaign against South Africa on June 5.
May 28, 2019 19:45 IST
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