The 30-year-old needed to deliver the goods after he was picked in the playing XI ahead of Shubman Gill for the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy. However, the opener has continued to look completely out of sorts. In three innings so far, he has scored 20, 17 and 1.
A number of former cricketers including Venkatesh Prasad have questioned Rahul’s place in the Indian team. However, first head coach Rahul Dravid and later captain Rohit backed Rahul over his underwhelming form.
Despite India’s six-wicket win over Australia in Delhi on Sunday, February 19, the question of Rahul’s poor form was bound to come up. At a post-match conference, the Indian captain said about his opening partner, "When you are playing on pitches like these, you need to find your methods of scoring runs.”
Urging the 30-year-old to also devise his own method of scoring on spinning surfaces in India, Rohit added, "Different individuals are part of this team and they will have different methods of scoring runs. We are not going to look too much into what one individual is doing. It is about how everyone needs to come together.
"It is a big series for us, so yeah that is my thought on KL," Rohit continued.
The Indian skipper conceded that there has been some talk around Rahul’s form recently, but added that they would continue to back him. The 35-year-old stated, "Of late, there has been lot of talk on his batting. But for us as team management, we always look at the potential of any individual, not just KL. I have been asked in the past about lot of players. If a guy has potential, guys will get that extended run.”
Rohit also praised Rahul’s contribution, pointing out to his big knocks in England and South Africa recently. The right-handed batter elaborated, "It is not just about KL, but anyone. If you look at couple of hundreds, he got outside India (England 2021 and SA 2022), one of the best I have seen from KL, especially the one at the Lord's.
"Batting on that damp pitch in England, (that too) after losing the toss and put in to bat is never easy. He (Rahul) put a great performance there and Centurion was another one. India won both those games.
That is the potential he has," the Indian skipper added.
Having gone 2-0 up in the series, India will meet Australia in the third Test in Indore from March 1 to March 5.
--By A Cricket Correspondent