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India vs Australia | EXCLUSIVE - Rahul Looks a Bit Confused at the Moment: Kumble

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: December 21, 2018, 5:03 PM IST

Gaurav Kalra: I know you touched upon some of the individuals. Just wanted your reflection on one or two of them. Let's start with KL Rahul in particular. He has been built up as the 5000-plus runs Test player and rightfully so, some of his batting has been very sublime. However, in that second innings, did you think he was rushing his innings as a Test match opener? What sort of mind space do you see him in right now as an opening batsman given there is pressure, there's a guy like Prithvi Shaw in the squad and others like Mayank Agarwal or even someone like Shikhar Dhawan.

Anil Kumble: He hasn't had a consistent run in the international cricket. He hasn't been someone who has put in a score and then followed it up with another good score, and that's something I am sure must be playing in his mind. He looks a bit confused at the moment. Should he go and play his natural game or should he take some time, I think that's where the mindset is.

What will help is to go and settle his nerves, say you are going to play the next three Tests and I don't know if that has happened. It's something that always plays on the young player. Yes, he has already played 30-plus Test matches and isn't a youngster anymore, but at the same time it's important that someone like Rahul needs that assurance, saying that look, you are going to play the next six innings and that gives you a mindset that the team management is backing me and I can go out there and play the way I want to. I think that's something that's needed. I am not sure if that conversation has happened.

He is extremely talented and we all know what he is capable of. He has shown that in Test cricket. He has shown that in one-dayers and as well as in T20s. When Australia toured India, he was instrumental in India winning the series. He had a brilliant series although he was injured. He continued to play and contributed to the win. Not many players do that. You know you have to get the surgery done after the series ends. Not many players put their hands up and say I will play for the team irrespective of if it deteriorates, what if I miss six or eight months? It becomes very difficult to make a comeback to the team but he has taken that risk in the past. I think he needs to be given... I know he has had his share of failures but it's not been consistent in terms of confidence you give to someone like KL Rahul.

First Published: December 14, 2018, 1:50 AM IST

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