The first half of the Border Gavaskar Trophy was not only dominated by India spinners but also by a certain KL Rahul whose non-performance created a social media storm, leading to a back-and-forth between two former international cricketers. Former India fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad had lashed out at the Indian team management in a series of tweets for giving Rahul a long rope despite him not being quite inconsistent in Test cricket.
However, Aakash Chopra first requested Prasad to not criticise an India cricketer midway through a Test leading to a debate between the two on social media. As it turned out, Rahul was eventually benched and replaced by Shubman Gill for the final two Tests of the series.
Also Read: Virender Sehwag Reveals Big Reason Behind Not Becoming India Coach
Rahul though is part of the ongoing ODI series against Australia and played a match-winning innings in Mumbai to give India 1-0 lead.
Following the ODI series, Rahul will get busy with IPL 2023 where he’ll be leading Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). So will he be under pressure considering his recent form?
LSG mentor Gautam Gambhir has rejected the speculations pointing out how the franchise finished third in their debut season last year under Rahul.
“What kind of pressure? Last time we (Lucknow Super Giants) finished at No. 3 and it was a tough fight between RR and LSG. Obviously, only one team can lift the trophy. And Gujarat won the IPL, they played excellent cricket last season. And if you take a look at the performance of Lucknow in their debut season, they finished 3rd only because of the NRR. If you finish 2nd in IPL, you get 2 chances at the playoffs,” Gambhir told SportsTak.
Also Read: ‘Rishabh Pant Little Close to What I Used to Bat Like in Tests But He is Satisfied With 90-100’
“As far as KL Rahul is concerned, I don’t think he is under any kind of pressure. International cricket and IPL are different from each other. If you don’t perform in international cricket despite scoring 1000 runs in IPL, you will still have to deal with criticism. And that’s international cricket for you. After all, only 15 players get a chance to play for India. In IPL, more than 150 players get selected. Thus, you should not compare these two (IPL and international cricket)," he added.
Without taking names, Gambhir then said that some times ex-cricketers need ‘masala’ to be relevant.
“How Rahul has fared in the IPL, he has 4-5 centuries in the tournament. And you are talking about a player who has already slammed 4-5 centuries. Even last season he scored a century against Mumbai Indians. We have so many people here. Sometimes ex-cricketers need some masala to remain active. So that’s why you criticise people. According to me, the kind of player KL is, he won’t be under any kind of pressure. You can’t win a tournament with one player. The 25 players who are inside the dressing room help you win the tournament,” he said.
Get the latest Cricket News here