KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has weighed in his verdict on his first impression of KL Rahul as Test captain. The Karnataka batter made his captaincy debut in the Johannesburg Test match as regular skipper Virat Kohli was ruled out of the match due to an upper back spasm.

However, things didn’t go his way as South Africa beat the visitors by 7 wickets to level the series by 1-1 with one test to go at Cape Town starting next week.

KL Rahul after his century in Centurion. Photo- AFP
KL Rahul after his century in Centurion. Photo- AFP

KL Rahul became 34th Test captain for India

Looking back at the second test match, Gautam Gambhir reviewed India’s performance as he felt that India missed the services of Kohli, more as a batter. Gambhir said that his presence would have made the difference despite his poor form of late.

“We definitely missed Virat Kohli the batsman. Steve Smith, Joe Root, Kane Williamson, Rohit Sharma, these are the type of batters you miss. And it is difficult to find their replacement, no matter what form they are in, because the expectation remains that they will score those big runs. But Kohli the captain, we missed him as well because he is so experienced and things turn simpler for experienced captains because they have been around for long,” he said in a conversation with Star Sports.

Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, India Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

Also Gambhir reviewed the first look of KL Rahul as test captain as he advised Rahul to be more aggressive with his field settings. He pointed out that one needs to take some gamble to buy wickets in test cricket at times. He reminded one scenario when India removed one slip for one extra fielder at covers against Temba Bavuma.

“But KL Rahul, the more time he spends, the better he will learn, but the faster he learns the better it is. This is not like ODI or T20I captaincy, which is far easier because you don’t have to focus much on field placements. In Test cricket you need to buy the wickets, sometimes even gamble with your choices.

“Like in the case of Bavuma, had he placed three slips instead of keeping one at the cover and tempt him into playing the drive maybe there could have been an opportunity for caught behind. But he kept a deep point which was a defensive mindset and it is something that he should be told about. You need to be an aggressive captain, not by attitude, but with your field placements,” he explained.

The third and final test will begin on January 11 at Cape Town as India will be eying for their maiden series win in the rainbow nation. Virat Kohli is likely to be fit for the match.

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