The curious case of KL Rahul
'"The next big thing in Indian cricket, the player with a lot of potential", we've been hearing such things about KL Rahul since last year and a half. Indeed he is a player with sound batting technique and has a lot of potential in him but is still not able to cement his position in the team completely.
KL Rahul has been the most inconsistent performer for team India in recent times. His recent form does not justify the numbers he is producing at the highest level of cricket. He has been getting an extended run in the team courtesy his recent success in IPL 2018 where he was the highest run-getter for Kings XI Punjab and nearly carried the team to the qualifiers on his own.
The success in IPL saw him earning a place in the team for the England tour and he started off in prolific style by scoring his second T20I ton. But this was the only feather to his cap in the whole tour except for the hundred in the second innings of the final Test match. Apart from these two innings, there has been nothing but disappointment from Rahul.
In the recently concluded Asia Cup 2018, he played a crucial knock of 60 runs and shared a 110-run opening stand with Ambati Rayudu hence showing his class and return to form, but in the next match against the Windies, he got dismissed for a duck.
These contrasting innings put a question mark on his selection in the team when players Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari are performing well enough to deserve a place.
Rahul indeed has support from both the captain and the coach as they know that he is a pedigree player and needs to be nurtured and taken care of. The only question remains that how long will his run in the team be extended?
The Test series against Windies was a good opportunity for him to prove his worth for the team before the Australia tour but he didn't grab the chance.
He has been in the list of the few batsmen who have international centuries to their name in all the three formats. Achieving this feat in such a short span of time speaks a lot about his potential, but even these records are next to nothing if the performance doesn't come on a consistent basis.
There have been players like Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Shubhman Gill and many others who are eagerly waiting to pounce on any opportunity that comes their way.
They have been knocking the doors of the selection committee for a while now and with World Cup 2019 in few months, Rahul has to pull up his socks and show his true class and ability with his consistency to the team.