KL Rahul, on Friday (March 17), finally delivered with the bat to ease the pressure on himself as he guided India to a 5-wicket win over Australia in the first ODI at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The right-handed batsman was under immense pressure after his recent failures with the bat especially in Tests. Earlier this month, he was dropped from India’s playing XI in Tests and was also stripped off the vice-captaincy after he failed with the bat in the first two Tests against Australia.
KL Rahul, however, once again reminded the world of his abilities on Friday as he played a fighting knock to give India the lead in the three-match series. In the low-scoring affair where batsmen from both the sides struggled, the Karnataka star stood like a rock.
Chasing 188, India were in a spot of bother after Australia pacers made light work of their top-order. At one stage, the hosts were reeling at 16 for 3 and then 39 for 4. Rahul and skipper Hardik Pandya then steadied the ship with a 44-run stand before the latter departed.
An excellent knock from @klrahul here in Mumbai when the going got tough!#TeamIndia 22 runs away from victory.
Live – https://t.co/8mvcwAwwah #INDvAUS @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/Ct4Gq1R1ox
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 17, 2023
He then shared an unbeaten stand of 108 runs with Ravindra Jadeja to take India home with ease in the end. Rahul remained unbeaten on 75 off 91 balls. His knock was studded with 7 fours and a six.
Venkatesh Prasad praises KL Rahul:
After his match-winning knock in Mumbai, KL Rahul has received praise not only from the fans but also from one of his most vocal critics in recent times – Venkatesh Prasad. The former India pacer has criticised Rahul severely in recent weeks due to his consistent failures in Tests.
Prasad, however, did not shy away from praising Rahul after the latter finally delivered with the bat. Soon after the game ended, he took to Twitter to praise Rahul, tweeting:
“Excellent composure under pressure and a brilliant innings by KL Rahul. Top knock. Great support by Ravindra Jadeja and a good win for India.”
Excellent composure under pressure and a brilliant innings by KL Rahul.
Top knock. Great support by Ravindra Jadeja and a good win for India.#INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/tCs74rBiLP
— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) March 17, 2023
Earlier, Prasad was very critical of Rahul’s performances in Tests and had even questioned his place in the playing eleven. The former cricketer had also accused the Indian team management of being biased as they continued to back the under-performing batsman.
And the torrid run continues. More to do with rigidity of the management to persist with a player who just hasn’t looked the part. No top order batsman in atleast last 20 years of Indian cricket has played these many tests with such a low average. His inclusion is …. https://t.co/WLe720nYNJ
— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) February 18, 2023
Also Read: Zaheer Khan Lavishes Praise On Ravindra Jadeja ‘The Batsman’ After His Starring Display Against Australia