KL Rahul has been one of the brightest names for Team India in recent times. The performances he has given with the bat in white-ball cricket has made his place permanent in the side. Apart from the performances with the bat, the right-hand opening batsman was given the duties to keep the gloves when Rishabh Pant was forced to take a break due to a concussion.
Since then, Rahul has been the wicketkeeper-batsman for India. As soon as it was announced that Rohit Sharma will not be able to play in the ODI series due to a cal injury, many believed that KL Rahul would open the innings for Team India. But skipper Virat Kohli surprised everyone when he announced that Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal will open for India in the first ODI while KL Rahul would bat in the middle-order.
Although, not many people complained after the decision was taken but former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir spoke against the decision and noted that it is not a good decision to move Rahul in the middle-order.
The cricketer-turned-politician criticized the decision and suggested that Rahul should have opened with Mayank Agarwal while Rishabh Pant should have been included in the playing XI and the wicketkeeping duties should have been given to him.
“I am not sure if it is a great idea to remove KL Rahul from the top of the order. If anything India could have gone with a Rahul-Agarwal combination and have Rishabh Pant keep wickets,” Gambhir said.
Gambhir further stated that Rahul is a valuable asset for Team India and should be looked after. He knows that Raul has done good work behind the wickets in recent times, but Gambhir feels that he should not be handed the wicketkeeping gloves in the 50-over format.
“Rahul is a valuable asset and should be well looked after. Yes, he has done some good work behind the stumps in the games that he has kept. But I am not sure he should be expected to keep in the 50-over format,” Gautam Gambhir added.
However, the position did not matter to Rahul. He played a swashbuckling knock and remained unbeaten on 88 off just 64 deliveries at a strike-rate of 137.
As for his batting position, we can see why Gambhir does not want him to bat in the middle-order. Rahul has played 7 innings in the middle-order and scored just 129 runs at an average of 18.21. Meanwhile, he averages more than 50 when he opens the inning.