KL Rahul’s emergence as India’s crisis man has impressed former India opener Gautam Gambhir, who feels the batsman is a strong asset for the team and can go on to achieve greater thing for the country if nurtured even further. Rahul has been assigned the role of a floater in this Indian team, shuffling across the batting order and scoring runs literally from any position. Also Read - Rishabh Pant's Reply to Harsha Bhogle on Commentary Wins Huge Applause at Motera | WATCH VIDEO
Besides, Rahul even kept wickets in the second and third ODIs after Rishabh Pant was out concussed taking two catches and affecting one stumping.. The versatility displayed by Rahul was appreciated well by Gambhir but he hopes he and his productivity is handled well by the management. Also Read - Will Rishabh Pant Reverse-Flick a Fast Bowler Again? The Wicketkeeper Responds
“There are few areas in cricket and business which overlap. Let’s talk about KL Rahul, a fantastic human resource for Indian cricket. He has a good attitude, top-class fitness level, an array of strokes and leadership qualities. On a corporate scale, Rahul is an invaluable middle-management asset who can be groomed for bigger roles,” Gambhir wrote in Tuesday’s column for Times of India. Also Read - MATCH HIGHLIGHTS IND vs ENG 4th Test, Day 3: Ashwin, Axar Share 10 Wickets as India Crush England to Enter WTC Final
“A concussion break to Rishabh Pant meant that Rahul had to keep wickets too, a task he did with assurance. This has now led to talk that he will continue this dual role in the upcoming limited-overs games. I hope the Indian team’s HR department — selectors and team management — have deliberated carefully on this.”
Virat Kohli has confirmed that Rahul’s role as a wicketkeeper has been extended since he will be keeping wickets in New Zealand to offer the team more balance. Kohli said it will be helpful to have a wicketkeeper with the batting skills of Rahul at No. 5. However, Gambhir reckons it is important to have taken this matter seriously by everyone in the management.
Moreover, with Rahul keeping wickets, what happens to Pant, who has been backed by the selectors to be India’s next figure behind the wickets?
“I want the decision-makers to consider a few aspects. Have they discussed this with Rahul? Is he wholeheartedly performing the role? It’s usually impossible for a young cricketer to say “no” to anything thrown at him without risking getting dropped,” Gambhir pointed out.
“Second, what happens to Rishabh Pant? I think his confidence is already eroding under the constant scrutiny of his technique. I’m not sure how he will perceive this move. A fair and open-hearted chat with Rishabh will ensure the team performs well both on and off the field. Organisations can ill afford to have a talented but disgruntled youngster in the room.”