IND vs SA 2022: "He's playing as well as we've seen him play" - Ajay Jadeja mighty impressed with KL Rahul's batting exploits in 1st T20I 

1st T20 International: India v South Africa
1st T20 International: India v South Africa. (Pic: Getty)

Former cricketer Ajay Jadeja believes Team India opener KL Rahul seems to have found his touch as he has performed admirably with the bat in recent outings.

The right-handed batter scored a crucial half-century in the T20I series opener against South Africa on Wednesday, September 28, helping India chase a total of 106 with eight wickets to spare. Rahul was lauded by Jadeja for his impressive showing.

During a discussion on Cricbuzz, Jadeja opined that while Rahul has been under the scanner lately for his lack of form, he has played his role well, scoring valuable runs for the team consistently.

He pointed out that the player managed to hit more sixes in the game against the Proteas than Suryakumar Yadav, who has been in fabulous touch.

Jadeja remarked:

"You can see that he's [KL Rahul] coming back from the last few games. The last time he used up an opportunity was that 39-ball 30 run knock in the Asia Cup. Ever since then, once he's gotten into his groove, he's just been playing what's required from him.'

He added:

"He's playing as well as we've seen him play. Even today, he beat Suryakumar Yadav when it came to the number of sixes"

Rahul played the anchor's role well during India's run chase, contributing with 51 runs off 56 balls.

While the batter had an underwhelming strike rate of 91.07, it is worth noting that he steadied the ship for the side after they lost Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli early.

"This innings will give him a lot of confidence" - Parthiv Patel on KL Rahul's half-century

Speaking in the video, Parthiv Patel highlights how KL Rahul countered the bowlers well in challenging conditions. He heaped praise on the right-handed batter for playing an impactful knock on a surface that favoured the fast bowlers.

He suggested that this knock could do wonders for Rahul's confidence, as he was able to bail India out of trouble with his fighting half-century. Patel added that at times, such a steady knock is more valuable for a player than a quick-fire fifty.

Patel explained:

"Sometimes playing an innings like this gives you more confidence than scoring those fifties in 20 or 30 balls. You know that you have weathered the storm really well and shown a lot of skill."

He further continued:

"He [KL Rahul] was brilliant with his defense and wasn't trying to take singles down the third man area or trying to be very funky with his batting. You need a batter like this on such wickets."

He concluded:

"This innings will give him a lot of confidence. It wasn't easy out there and he was facing proper fast bowling, but stood his ground."

The Men in Blue have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series by winning the opening encounter. The two sides will next be seen in action on Sunday, October 2, when they lock horns in the second fixture.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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