KL Rahul received the ‘Orange Cap’ by virtue of being a maximum run-scorer in IPL 2020- 670 runs while he and Delhi Capitals’ (DC) batsman Shikhar Dhawan were only batsmen to cross 600 run mark in IPL 2020.
Rohit Sharma’s absence from the upcoming limited-overs white ball series is a big “positive” for Australia. Still, KL Rahul is as good a player to fill in the void perfectly, feels dashing batsman Glenn Maxwell who played under KL Rahul’s captaincy in IPL 2020.
Rohit Sharma’s unavailability a positive: Glenn Maxwell
KL Rahul will be Virat Kohli’s deputy in the white-ball leg since regular vice-captain Rohit Sharma is on the way recovering from a hamstring injury sustained during IPL and will play tests only.
“He (Rohit) is a class performer, so consistent as an opening batsman with a couple of (three) double hundreds. So anytime he is not in the line-up against you, it is a positive,” Glenn Maxwell said during an interaction organized by series official broadcasters Sony.
The three-match ODI series begins on November 27 followed by a T20I International series. For Glenn Maxwell, KL Rahul is as good a back-up as any team can wish for.
“But in saying that, India have still got back-ups, more than capable of playing that role. We saw KL Rahul, the performance that he put on during the last IPL was extraordinary.
“Whether he opens the batting or not, I am sure he will be just as good a player,” Maxwell said during a virtual media interaction.
In Rohit Sharma’s absence, it is expected that Mayank Agarwal will open the innings along with Shikhar Dhawan as KL Rahul, who will keep wickets is expected to bat middle-order.
KL Rahul And Mayank Agarwal Can Score All Round The Wicket: Glenn Maxwell
However, Glenn Maxwell is a big fan of Mayank Agarwal-KL Rahul duo as the opening pair did wonders with the bat during IPL 2020. Mayank Agarwal scored 424 runs in 11 matches.
“Well, I would say they (Mayank-Rahul) are the two lovely guys, I have ever met. It was a pleasure to spend the change room (with them), two very good players, they score all-round the wicket and have got very limited weaknesses,” Glenn Maxwell was all praise for them.
Glenn Maxwell sounded out a warning for his IPL teammates that Australia’s bowling attack consisting of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood will certainly put them under pressure.
“I suppose ODI cricket might be a bit different (compared to T20). Hopefully, with our bowling attack, we can put some pressure on them and with bounce in the pitches and bigger grounds as well, they play into our hands. They are good performers, and good players,” a confident Maxwell asserted.
For India, key in the upcoming series will be Mohammed Shami’s skills as both a “new ball and old ball” bowler as he will like to continue his form of IPL 2020 where he picked 20 scalps.
“A guy like Mohammed Shami, whom I have played with in the recent IPL and played with him in Delhi, as well. He has got good skills at the end (death overs) as well as with the new ball. His ability to get moving on pitches will be key to them.
Meanwhile, asked about his wretched IPL form and whether it would have an impact on the series, he said, “No, it’s not going to affect my performances in the upcoming series,” Maxwell maintained.
Glenn Maxwell or another in-form player Marcus Stoinis would be the two all-rounders, making up for a 5th bowler as well as designated finishers in the batting line-up.
“…the way we are probably going to set our team up is myself and Marcus Stoinis or potentially another all-rounder making up for the other 10 overs (for fifth bowler), the one without our four front-line bowlers.
“I suppose I can contribute wherever I can with the ball. With the bat, as it was against England, I will be trying to finish off games and do as well as I can down the order,” he said.
Steve Smith didn’t play the away ODI series against England due to concussion suffered during a net session, and his presence is sure to increase Indian team’s headache, said the Victorian all-rounder, who was Man of Series.
“To have someone like Steve Smith coming back to our side, it is going to be a big plus for us, a big headache for India. Smith has always scored runs against them,” Glenn Maxwell.
India and Australia have played against each other in 140 games and India have won 52 and lost 78. Skipper Virat Kohli has an average of 59.33 in ODIs which is the best among Indians in ODIs.