T20 World Cup: What is the best spot for KL Rahul? | Cricket News

As KL Rahul prepares to go for the toss as LSG skipper in the clash against CSK at the Ekana today, he would be harbouring hopes of turning around a two-game losing run and a decent outing with the bat.
That would go some way towards impressing the selectors and his one-time T20 and Test opening partner Rohit Sharma, the Indian captain, and his idol and mentor, Rahul Dravid, Team India’s coach ahead of the team selection for the T20 World Cup.
A few weeks before the tournament began, Rahul had expressed hopes of batting in the middle-order and keeping wickets, despite LSG having two world class keepers in Quinton de Kock and Nicholas Pooran.
Rahul’s best efforts in the IPL and T20Is have come as an opener. However, trying to break into India’s top three now seems like bringing down the Great Wall of China as skipper Rohit, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav have locked in those spots. That explained why he said what he did. He realises that for LSG’s best interests, it is vital that he bats as an opener without the hand break pressed.
However, if he must stake a claim in India’s T20 squad again, something that has not happened since India’s defeat in the semifinal to England in the 2022 T20 World Cup in Adelaide, it will have to be as a No. 5 or No. 6 finisher.
With Rishabh Pant getting his sharpness back with the gloves and Shivam Dubey hitting the big ones regularly, especially on slow pitches, the kind that India may encounter in West Indies and US, the competition for lower-order places is getting tighter.
Throw in the finishing skills of Rinku Singh and you know how tough things are going to get for Rahul.
That begs the question, should Rahul just focus on being the destructive opening batter that he was when he was not leading teams in the IPL? His best season, strike-rate wise was 2018 (659 runs, SR 158.41) when he batted without inhibition for Kings XI Punjab. His strike-rate, despite having productive seasons, has been dropping since. In 2019 his 593 runs came at 135.38.
In 2020 as captain, he scored 670 runs at 129.34 and won the Orange Cap. In 2021, he scored 626 runs at 138.80. In 2022, his 616 runs came at 135.38.
With the bar constantly rising, a high impact performance in the remaining games for LSG as opener with a 150-plus strike-rate may be the only way he may make the cut as a back-up opener or travelling reserve.

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