Getting dropped from the test team, then getting dragged into the Talk Show controversy and all the while pretty much failing in all formats, last few months have not been the best for KL Rahul both off and on the field. The Indian team management would have started having doubts about Rahul’s capability to stick around for the role of the reserve opener (and a potential No.4).
Coming into the IPL as well Rahul was under a lot of pressure to perform, and he did need to make a mark in the early stages to justify his selection for the World Cup. In the first 3-4 games he failed miserably and looked the same old under-confident batsman that had come out to bat for the past 5-6 months in Indian colors.
But to Rahul’s credit, he slugged it out and did things the hard way. In the match against Mumbai, he stuck around, consumed a decent haul of balls, spent time in the middle which actually helped him regain some form and then, in the end, he guided his team home by scoring a match-winning knock. Such maturity has supported him ever since as he has got back to his old ways of being a fluent batsman who shows too much class to be ignored.
It also bodes well for India because it provides them with the option of playing Rahul at No.4 if the situation demands or to be used as a reserve opener as well. Rahul, if it’s his day, can be as good as anyone in the World and India would be banking on him to take his form forward into the World Cup and score big whenever he gets a chance.
It is pretty essential that he does as well because with the team management going for Vijay Shankar over Ambati Rayudu India might have just dug themselves a big hole for which they may have to rely on KL Rahul to fulfill the batting duties at No.4. Who knows, with the kind of form Rahul has shown in the IPL he could turn out to be the X-Factor that takes India through.