'He is averaging 40-plus, with a strike rate of 145, and three failures doesn't change the fact that he is the best batsman we have in this format.'
Three cheap dismissals can't change the fact that K L Rahul is India's "best T20 batsman" who needs to be supported during this rough phase, says batting coach Vikram Rathour.
He was only echoing skipper Virat Kohli's sentiments after India’s eight-wicket defeat to England in the third T20I, in Ahmedabad, on Tuesday.
Rahul has had scores of 1,0 and 0 in the ongoing series. Part of his poor showing can be attributed to no game time since the end of the T20 series in Australia in early December.
"Anybody can have a lean phase and KL has been our best batsman in the T20 format. He is averaging 40-plus, with a strike rate of 145, and three failures doesn't change the fact that he is the best batsman we have in this format," Rathour said, after Tuesday’s match.
"This is the time when we need to support him, and I am absolutely sure he will come back out of the lean phase," the batting coach added.
However, Rathour did agree that rustiness could be a reason and all it would take is one good shot to get back into form.
"I agree they do tend to get rusty when they are sitting out, but the only thing we can do is to provide them practice. They are having a lot of net sessions and even on middle (centre strips)," he said.
"That's all they can do and we can just hope that one innings, or one shot, and they will be back in form. People like KL Rahul," he added.
India have now lost two games batting first, and, according to the former Test opener, the pitches on offer during the last three matches have been tricky.
"It is a difficult surface to assess what will be a good score and the bounce makes it tricky when you start batting. The ball stops and we saw some variable bounce. So you can't assess how many runs will be a good score.
"Every game we have played on different surfaces and, as a team, it is tough. We have had three games now and next game hopefully we can do better if we bat first."