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'No cricket pundit should ask for Rahul to be dropped'

February 23, 2023 17:57 IST

IMAGE: Gautam Gambhir backed the under-fire KL Rahul, stating no player should be singled out. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir feels that it is a tad unfair to single out KL Rahul for scathing criticism as every player goes through lean phases in their respective careers.

In his last 10 Test innings, Rahul has averaged a dismal 12.5 with not a single score of above 25. His sequence of scores read 8, 10, 12, 22, 23, 10, 2, 20, 17 and 1, raising questions about his place in the playing XI.

There are strong calls to induct Shubman Gill in the playing XI.


"KL Rahul should not be dropped from the Indian side. One should not single out any player. Everyone goes through a lean patch. No one, no cricket pundit or anyone should tell him that he is not doing well and be dropped," Gambhir told PTI during an interaction on the sidelines of IPL pre-season camp organised by Lucknow Super Giants.

Gambhir is the mentor of LSG and Rahul is the skipper of the same franchise.

The two-time IPL champion and former captain of KKR also cited current India captain Rohit Sharma's example of how he was backed to the hilt by the erstwhile team management so that he is successful in Test cricket. Once Rohit started opening, things looked up for him in traditional format.

"You have to back players who have talent. Look at Rohit Sharma. He also had a lean patch. Look at the way he started his career. He had a late flourish. Compared (earlier times) to how he is performing now. Everyone could see his talent and backed him. Now see the result. He is going great guns. Rahul can do the same," Gambhir seemed confident of his abilities.

The southpaw is of the opinion that if the team is winning matches comfortably, there is no point in tinkering with winning combination and single out one player for harsh treatment.

"India is 2-0 up and not 0-2 down. So let's not axe anyone and appreciate the team's performance. I think the Indian team management is right in backing KL Rahul. He is a great player. He had scored runs in international cricket."

On the Indian women's team's semi-final encounter against Australia in ICC T20 World Cup, Gambhir said: "I think India has got the talent to beat Australia. Obviously, Australia is a good team but I am sure the Indian women's team has the potential to beat Australia.  If you can play those 240 balls better than Australia, then the team can beat them."

While Indian women lost badly to England in a group league match, Gambhir feels that they have been consistent enough.

"I think the Indian team has been very consistent the way they are playing this tournament. Now the occasions should not matter. You know people will talk about the semi-final. ultimately it is not the occasion, it is the contest of the bat and ball," he added.

On the inaugural Women's Premier League (WPL), he said it was a historic step taken by the BCCI. "We keep talking about gender equality. What better than this to have gender equality and I am sure it is going to promote a lot of young girls to start playing cricket and I think WPL can go a long way," signed off Gambhir.  

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