KL Rahul‘s return to the Indian team has brought not only his impressive batting skills but also much-needed stability to the squad, believes former cricketer Gautam Gambhir. Rahul’s comeback was marked by a stellar century against Pakistan, leaving Gambhir highly impressed.
After a lengthy injury layoff, Rahul made a triumphant return to international cricket during the Asia Cup 2023. He showcased remarkable performances, particularly against Pakistan. In the Super Four round of the tournament, he scored an unbeaten 111 against Pakistan. Despite missing the group stages due to his injury, Rahul’s contributions in the latter part of the tournament proved pivotal. He amassed a total of 169 runs across three innings, boasting an average of 84.50.
Gambhir, speaking to Star Sports emphasized the significance of stability in the middle order.
“The most crucial factor is stability. You don’t want to put all of the pressure on your top three batters, so you need a No. 4 batter who can give you steadiness. You have that consistency from KL Rahul,” he remarked.
Gambhir further noted that Rahul’s century against Pakistan marked a significant turning point in his rhythm and confidence.
“KL Rahul has the skills and shots to modify his batting tempo at any time. More significant than that, though, was the fact that he made a century against Pakistan in his first game back from injury. It completely changed the way he played thereafter,” he added.
Interestingly, Rahul’s opportunity to play against Pakistan arose when Shreyas Iyer had to withdraw from the game due to back spasms. Rahul himself revealed that he was informed about this decision just five minutes before the toss.
“Anyone who has played international cricket for a significant amount of time knows that it only takes one inning for your rhythm, confidence, and approach to change completely. The fact that he only learned of it five minutes earlier was a plus. If he had known earlier, he could have been overthinking it. Overthinking makes you go into a shell,” he concluded.