Indian cricketer KL Rahul is currently leading the Indian Test team in the absence of Rohit Sharma. The Rahul-led side enjoyed a dominant outing in the first Test and continues to hold an edge over the hosts in the second but his individual performance has not been really impressive recently in the longest format.
Across his four innings in the two Tests so far, Rahul had scores of 22, 23,10 and 2. On Day 3 of the second Test, Rahul was the first to be dismissed as he failed to read the line, eventually being trapped plumb against Shakib Al Hasan. India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik believes that Rahul might not be given the axe anytime soon and the Indian team should be backing him in this struggling period of his career.
“Let's look at the recent past. Before these two Bangladesh Tests, three against South Africa, four against England that he played. In those 7 Tests, he's got two centuries and two fifties and those are in away conditions. These are tough conditions to play in, so as a support staff of the Indian team, when you look at him, you know he's got the skill. He's not going through the best of times at this point, and you got to back him,” Karthik was quoted as saying by News 18.
“He's the captain of the Indian team and you can't let go of him easy. I think, he will definitely start the Australian series, and if things don't go well there, that is where the questions will start to arise in a much bigger manner," added the Indian wicketkeeper-batter.
There's a lot happening in his mind: Karthik
Karthik said that Rahul is also tackling with the added pressure of leading the Indian Test team. He also said that the batter has been tentative at times and that can happen when there's “a lot happening” in the mind.
“Look, I think we have to understand mindsets of batters. Right now, there's a lot happening in his mind. He's the captain, he hasn't got the volume of runs he wants. He is under pressure, he is tentative when he starts to bat. This happens to a lot of batters, literally every batter who plays for the country. You go through spell where you find the runs hard to come by,” said Karthik.
"It could be the new ball, you feel the conditions are made for batting, sometimes you don't get to runs and everyday the mind keeps throwing doubts at you and it gets bigger and bigger. In his case, he's tentative, he's not very committed to the front foot. He's hanging back, hoping that the ball would turn and he could play the ball. But at times, he is trying to make an effort to play. It's not a technical error, there's a lot happening for KL Rahul, at the moment.”