Thursday, February 29, 2024

‘Excellent composure under pressure’: Venkatesh Prasad praises KL Rahul’s knock in first IND-AUS ODI

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After KL Rahul scored an unbeaten 75 to help the Indian cricket team to chase down the middling target of 189, set for them by the visiting Australians at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, praise flowed for the middle-order batter, who, only a few weeks ago, was in the eye of criticism from all quarters over his form during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Perhaps the most surprising praise came from former India cricketer Venkatesh Prasad, who has been one of the most vocal critics of the batter in recent weeks. The former India pacer has often made a case for Rahul to be dropped from the side.

On Friday, however, he tweeted: “Excellent composure under pressure and a brilliant innings by KL Rahul. Top knock. Great support by Ravindra Jadeja and a good win for India.”

Only a month back, Prasad had posted multiple threads on the micro-blogging site, making a case for why Rahul must be dropped from the Indian team in Tests.

“I have a lot of regard for KL Rahul’s talent and ability, but sadly his performances have been well below-par. A Test average of 34 after 46 Tests and more than 8 years in international cricket is ordinary. Can’t think of many who have been given so many chances. Some are just lucky to be given chances endlessly till they succeed while some aren’t allowed to,” he tweeted.

Prasad had even alleged that Rahul’s inclusion in the side was due to favouritism.

He had gone one to add: “And to make matters worse, Rahul is the designated vice-captain… Rahul’s selection is not based on performance but favouritism . Has been consistently inconsistent and for someone who has been around for 8 years not converted potential into performances. One of the reasons why many ex-cricketers aren’t vocal despite seeing such favouritism… is the chances of losing out on potential IPL gigs. They wouldn’t want to rub the captain of a franchisee wrong way,as in today’s age most people like yes men and blind approvers. Often well wishers are your best critics but times have changed & people don’t want to be told truth.”

Rahul was eventually dropped for the third and fourth Tests against Australia at Indore and Ahmedabad.

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