Sunil Gavaskar Vouches for Struggling Opener KL Rahul
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Sunil Gavaskar Vouches for Struggling KL Rahul

Sunil Gavaskar, Hardik Pandya, India vs New Zealand 2019
Sunil Gavaskar lends stability to the Indian team. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar has thrown unconditional support behind pale-looking KL Rahul, who had a torrid time with the bat, of late. Gavaskar feels Rahul has all the potential—to emerge as the next stalwart in the cricketing world. According to Gavaskar, the Karnataka-batsman needs to regain his confidence by giving his ultimate best.

Concurrently, Rahul stands suspended alongside Team India teammate Hardik Pandya following the controversial remarks in the Koffee with Karan Tv show.

“He is short of runs, so he is short of confidence. I’ve said it before but I think he is going to be the next big thing in Indian cricket and I do believe he still has the capability of becoming the next big thing if he just solely focuses on his batting and a couple of things that seem to have crept in,” Gavaskar told Scroll in an interview.

As the duo weathered the criticism, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) immediately suspended the cricketers.

KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Koffee with Karan
Kl Rahul and Hardik Pandya suspended following unacceptable remarks. Photo Credit: Web.

Recently, Rahul had miserably failed to perform in the Test series against Australia which further irked the critic. However, Gavaskar feels the poor modus operandi has cost Rahul too much.

According to Gavaskar, Rahul has often got out while chasing the deliveries either on the fifth or sixth stump respectively.

“I think it is a combination of poor technique and mental frailty,” Gavaskar added.

Rahul added just 57 runs to his name in five innings of the three Test matches against hosts led by Tim Paine.

In the two Twenty20 Internationals against Kangaroos, Rahul put 27 runs on the board against Australia as the MCG T20 resulted in a washout.

Interestingly, with Mayank Agarwal and the teenage sensation Prithvi Shaw in good stead, Rahul has a tough competition to face in the foreseeable future across formats.

Adjustment is a concern in KL Rahul’s case:

KL Rahul
So far, KL Rahul has featured in 34 Tests to amass 1905 runs at the average of 35.27. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Gavaskar suggested Rahul work on his movements when the latter bats out in the middle. He further cited the example of stalwart Sachin Tendulkar who had ruled the roost during his heydays.

“I think what he really needs to do is figure out his preliminary movement. Sachin [Tendulkar] had a slight front foot movement… not even front and across. Just slight front foot movement. He got his momentum to go forward or back from that,” Gavaskar maintained.

The legendary cricketer Gavaskar also added the balance play a critical role in shaping up the batsman. He also dissected Rahul’s approach while facing the bowlers which resulted in a latter’s barren run.

“But your balance still remains the same. In Rahul’s case, the balance doesn’t remain the same because when he goes on the back foot and then onto the front, the balance has moved so much to the front that he is unable to make that late adjustment,” Gavaskar added.

Gavaskar asserted Rahul does not need to go too deep into the crease while playing across. He set the example of veteran Rahul Dravid who too opted to for the similar approach in between.

In conclusion, Gavaskar suggested Rahul rely on the advice which would benefit him owing to a long run.

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Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Sportzwiki.com, who follows cricket like food after listening to running commentary on a transistor radio when he was only eight, and penned down the scorecard when he turned 11. Twitter, Instagram: TahirIbnManzoor