KL Rahul. Photo: PTI
New Delhi: After KL Rahul's horrid run in international cricket continued as the batter failed to fire with his willow, India captain Rohit Sharma defended the opener and said that Rahul has potential and they are not looking into individual performances of player.
After bowlers skittled out visitors for 113, Rohit, Srikar Bharat and Cheteshwar Pujara held their ground to help India register an emphatic 6-wicket victory against Australia in the second Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy here at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Sunday.
Chasing a low-pressure target of 115 runs, many anticipated opener KL and Rohit Sharma to chase it down without any hassle given that there are two days still left in the match. But KL was the first wicket to fall. Nathan Lyon trapped him for just one run, leaving India at 6/1 in 1.1 overs.
"Even if you look at a couple of hundreds he got outside India...one of the best I have seen from KL Rahul, especially at Lord's on that pitch. Playing in England is never easy. He put on an excellent performance there and a century. His performance came in India winning both games. Again that's the potential he has. There have been a lot of talks.... it was clear from our end that we want him to go out and just play his game and do what he can do best. That is what we have seen him doing over the years," Rohit Sharma said in a post-match conference.
Notably, The opener did not have a very good 2022. After missing nearly half a year worth of action, KL blew hot and cold ever since Asia Cup 2022. He did score some half-centuries but drew criticism from fans and some cricketers for his lack of attacking intent and his inability to fire during the most important matches for his team.KL played four Tests last year in which he scored 137 runs at an average of 17.12, with one fifty. He had the best score of 50 in Tests.
"Of course when you are playing on the pitches like this you need to find your method of scoring runs. Different individuals are part of this team and they will have other methods of scoring runs, find your own methods of doing it. We are not going to look too much into what one individual is doing, it's about the entire team. Because this is an important series for us big one as well. That's my thoughts on KL Rahul.
Coming to the match, India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by taking a 2-0 lead in the four-match series. Pujara (31*) and Bharat (23*) played till the end to guide their team home. For India, Ravindra Jadeja ripped through Australia with seven for 42.
India's spinner dominated the proceedings in the first session, rolling Australia out for 113. The hosts chased down the target with six wickets in hand.
It means India takes a 2-0 lead in the four-match Test series and will retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy regardless of results over the final two Tests.