According to former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, KL Rahul faced severe criticism because India’s selection committee persisted in playing him even though he was struggling with poor form.
On his YouTube channel, Butt recommended that the Indian team management should have rested Rahul when he was finding it difficult to perform.
Salman Butt on KL Rahul
Butt believed that the team should have shown support to Shubman Gill instead, as he was in excellent form at the time.
“KL Rahul was criticized a lot during his lean patch. I believe that India’s selection committee is to blame for Rahul’s criticism. They kept on playing him consistently, even though he was out of form. They exposed him by doing so, despite having an in-form player like Shubman Gill in the squad. Yes, you need to give confidence to your players, but it can also be done through communication, and you can save them from unnecessary criticism,” Butt said.
It is important to mention that KL Rahul was excluded from India’s starting lineup after only scoring 38 runs in the initial two matches of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series versus Australia. Nonetheless, he made a comeback in the first ODI by playing a decisive innings of 75* to help the Indian team win by five wickets in Mumbai on Friday, March 17th.
Rahul has been great in the middle-order in ODIs
Despite being heavily criticized for his poor showings in Test cricket, KL Rahul’s performances in One Day Internationals have been noteworthy recently. He has batted in the fifth position in 17 innings, amassing 733 runs, comprising seven half-centuries and one century. The 30-year-old has a remarkable average of 56.38 while batting in that particular position.
Rahul’s performance in the ODI format will be crucial for India, as he seems to be the primary candidate for India’s wicketkeeping role in the upcoming ICC ODI World Cup, especially in the absence of Rishabh Pant. He will play his next match on Sunday, March 19th, when India faces Australia in the second match of the three-match series at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.