Rahul is one of India’s most prolific batters in T20Is, having amassed 1831 runs at an excellent average of 40.68 in the 56 games he has played. The opening batter is also heading into the series against the Proteas on the back of an impressive run with the bat in IPL 2022.
During a discussion on the Star Sports’ show ‘Game Plan’, Shastri was asked if all eyes will be on Rahul as skipper and if it is time for him to shine. He replied:
“It is and it’s not something new to him. He has captained India before. T20 is where he is at his very best. If you see over the last two or three years, he has been one of the most consistent players in this format of the game.”
The former Team India head coach believes captaincy will bring the best out of Rahul. Shastri elaborated:
“Year after year he has good IPLs. So, it’s a format that he is used to and he is very comfortable with. Now that he is the captain, the added responsibility will obviously fire him up even more.”
Rahul has never captained Team India in T20I cricket, apart from standing in for Rohit Sharma when the latter suffered an injury in New Zealand. He captained the Men In Blue in the ODI series against the Proteas earlier this year but ended up on the receiving end in all three games.
“He has got a good side” – Ravi Shastri says KL Rahul has an abundance of talent at his disposal
Shastri added that Rahul will be leading a formidable Indian side despite the absence of some of the big names like Virat Kohli and Rohit. He observed:
“He has got a good side. India have got some great T20 sides over the last two or three years, abundance of talent, selection headaches. Yet at the same time, whilst there is quantity, there is quality as well. So, it’s going to be fun.”
However, the reputed commentator concluded by pointing out that the South African side cannot be taken lightly. Shastri reasoned:
“They are up against a good side, mind you. South Africa play good T20 cricket, a lot of them are familiar with Indian conditions, having played in IPL cricket over the years. They have played a lot against each other of late, so that familiarity is there, they won’t be overawed by India. So it’s going to be a good contest.”
The South African squad has a plethora of players who showcased their skills in the recently concluded edition of the Indian Premier League. The likes of David Miller, Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada and Aiden Markram shone for their franchises in IPL 2022 and will hope to continue in the same vein in the T20I series against India.
Q. Will KL Rahul lead Team India to a T20I series win against South Africa?
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