Former Sri Lanka cricketer Mahela Jayawardene is worried about KL Rahul’s form, saying lack of cricket at the highest level could become a concern for India in the upcoming Asia Cup.
KL Rahul was in great form during the 2022 Indian Premier League as he scored 616 runs for Lucknow Super Giants. Since then, he has not played any competitive cricket due to his battle against injuries and Covid-19, when he was about to make a comeback.
“That (Rahul’s lack of cricket) would be a concern for India,” Jayawardene told ICC. “He has been out for a little while since the IPL, so having game time is quite crucial especially out there in the middle. The sooner he can get some game time and get that confidence back, is always going to help him, as well as the national team.”
Jayawardene also suggested that if KL Rahul fails to return to his absolute best form at the Asia Cup then the Indian think tank should consider wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant as an opener as the T20 World Cup looms.
Rishabh Pant has opened the batting for India in T20Is only twice, but Jayawardena feels Pant has the capability to do well as an opener. Pant opened alongside captain Rohit Sharma during the second and third T20I matches against England.
“Even though he (Pant) hasn’t done that (open the batting) much in domestic cricket, he has the capacity to do that. Wherever he bats, you’re not going to change his game. He is going to be a very natural player so yes, it is an option (for Pant to open).”
The Asia Cup is scheduled to begin on August 27 in the UAE. India will begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on August 28.
— ENDS —