Indias KL Rahul bats during the first One Day International cricket match between New Zealand and India at Seddon Park in Hamilton on February 5, 2020. (Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY / AFP)
KL Rahul, who has been in the form of his life, produced another masterclass of an innings against New Zealand in the first One Day International (ODI) at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Wednesday.
Coming into bat at number five, Rahul played an unbeaten knock of 88 runs in 64 balls to help India post a commendable total of 347/4 in the first ODI of the three-match series.
Praising Rahul’s current touch with the willow, former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif called the wicketkeeper-batsman as India’s “swiss knife”.
Opens the innings ✅
Keeps wickets ✅
Stands in as captain ✅
Now finishes big for his team ✅
KL Rahul is Team India’s very own Swiss knife! #NZvIND
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) February 5, 2020
Recently-retired Irfan Pathan also took to his Twitter handle to hail Rahul and said he was surprised to see the cricketer not in the Test team for the upcoming series against New Zealand.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who is surprised not to see @klrahul11 name in the test squad. #currentform
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) February 5, 2020
Rahul, who has been forced to bat down the order in presence of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, saw debutant Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal opening on Wednesday despite his good run of form with the willow.
Speaking about the same, former India opener Gautam Gambhir said the team management should not tinker with Rahul’s batting position. “I am not sure if it is a great idea to remove KL Rahul from the top-order,” IANS quoted Gambhir as writing in his column for the Times of India.
“If anything India could have gone with a Rahul-Agarwal combination and have Rishabh Pant keep wickets. Rahul is a valuable asset and should be well looked after. Yes, he has done some good work behind the stumps in the games that he has kept. But I am not sure he should be expected to keep in the 50-over format,” the 38-year-old added.