The move to drop KL Rahul worked out well for India as the hosts registered a comfortable 36 run win in the final T20I against England to win the series 3-2. However, Gautam Gambhir opined that the Karnataka batsman should have ideally got another chance to prove his mettle.
The former opener, though, acknowledged that it was important for Team India to go in with six bowlers.
KL Rahul managed scores of 1,0,0 & 14 before he was dropped for the series decider in favor of T Natarajan on Saturday. Speaking on ESPNCricinfo, Gautam Gambhir said Rahul should have played another game.
"India went with six bowlers; I completely agree with that. Because India was always one bowler short. And the only way that could have been done was by dropping KL Rahul and picking a bowler. And that’s what they have done. But ideally, they should have given him another game. But they could not have fit him with six bowlers, had KL Rahul played this game," said Gautam Gambhir.
"Dropping anyone will not do them any favour. He (Rahul) will have to play three ODIs. Someone is out of form; the only way you can bring them back is by giving them more opportunities. Because when you are sitting on the bench, it is not a good feeling. Because you know you have been dropped, and that feeling is not the best feeling," Gautam Gambhir added.
"KL Rahul has been one of our key players in the limited-overs format" - Rohit Sharma
With Virat Kohli successfully opening for India in the 5th T20I, many might feel that it will be tough for KL Rahul to get back in India's T20 XI. However, opener Rohit Sharma made it clear that the Karnataka batsman will remain in India's plans, terming KL Rahul's axing as a tactical move for the final game.
"Today was a tactical move because we wanted an extra bowler to play. We wanted to leave 1 batsman out, and unfortunately, it was KL Rahul. He has been one of our key players in the limited-overs format, especially in this format. Looking at the current form, the team management decided to play the best XI. But having said that, it doesn't send any signal that KL will not be considered; this was just for one particular game," Sharma said after the 5th T20I against England
KL Rahul is currently the highest-ranked Indian batsman in the ICC rankings for T20 batsman. The opener might have failed in the recent series but he has been a steady performer for India in T20Is, averaging 54.67, 49.50, 56 and 27 in his last 4 T20I series before the matchup against England.