“Just like Virat Kohli, he made his first mistake” – Sunil Gavaskar praises KL Rahul’s punch in 1st IND vs AUS ODI

Sunil Gavaskar praised KL Rahul for leading India to a first ODI victory against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday March 17.

Hardik Pandya and Co. bowled out the Australians for 188 after asking them to bat first. Rahul then scored an unbeaten 75 from 91 deliveries as the Men in Blue chased after the target with five wickets and 61 deliveries to spare to start the three match series on a positive note.

During a post-match discussion on Star Sports, Gavaskar was asked about his thoughts on Raul KLThere was a knock on the door, to which he replied:

“We said before also that he has the technique and temperament, but sometimes you also need luck. Like Virat Kohli, he would start his first mistake, but his body language was not usually like Virat Kohli’s.”

The former Indian captain praised Rahul for making sure India crossed the line, explaining:

“Virat Kohli used to come out, but still his body language was different, he was confident. You couldn’t have said the same about Rahul. But the way he hit today, he paid back to the team management for the faith they showed in him. He stayed until the end, not that he could do anything since he had scored fifty.”

India was at a troubled point when Ravindra Jadeja joined Rahul in the middle, with the score reading 83/5 in the fall of Hardik Pandya‘s wicket. The duo formed an unbroken 108-run partnership at the sixth wicket to bring the team home.

“He’s been exposed to different different situations” – Sanjay Bangar on KL Rahul

KL Rahul has opened for India in 23 ODIs. [P/C: BCCI]
KL Rahul has opened for India in 23 ODIs. [P/C: BCCI]

Sanjay Bangar noting that the presence of a batsman like KL Rahul in the middle order was very helpful for India in Friday’s game, explaining:

“Whoever hits in multiple positions, it becomes a strong point for them. He has been exposed to different situations. I think it was a big advantage that India had a player at No. 5 who could play well in the order and against the new ball too.”

The former India batting coach added that the goalkeeper-batsman made a strong case for himself for a middle-order spot for the World Cup later this year, stating:

“If you have a first-order collapse, which has happened in some big games, you have a player who can deflect the new ball and then can score runs all over the park. There’s no area where he can’t play a shot. He’s made an extremely solid to himself.”

Rahul hit seven fours and one six during his innings. He reached fifty in 73 deliveries and scored 25 runs in the next 18 balls he faced.

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay

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