Kohli Backs Struggling Rahul as England Series Win Looms

Kohli Backs Struggling Rahul as England Series Win Looms Photo: TT
India's K.L. Rahul and India's Virat Kohli take a break between overs while batting against Australia during their T20 international cricket match at Manuka Oval

India captain Virat Kohli has backed opener KL Rahul despite his lean run during the current T20 International series against England which continues with the fourth game on Thursday.

Rahul has managed scores of 0, 0 and 1 during the three T20Is so far, with India trailing 2-1 in the series.

The 28-year-old right-hander was the top run scorer in the 2020 Indian Premier League for Kings XI Punjab so his form slump has caught many by surprise.

With India behind in the series, there’s been calls for immediate action, including dropping Rahul for emerging Mumbai Indians star Ishan Kishan or Mayank Agarwal.

Kohli insisted patience was required with Rahul, believing he’ll turn it around soon.

“Well I was going through a lean patch about two games ago,” Kohli said. “These things turn around very quickly.

“For us, he’s been a champion player. If you look at his stats in the last two-three years, they are probably better than anyone in world cricket in T20s.

“He’ll continue to be one of our main batters along with Rohit at the top of the order. We don’t have any concerns there. T20 is a game which is a very instinctive game.

“We know once he starts playing positively and a few shots come off, it’s a matter of five-six balls in this format and suddenly you’re back in this zone.”

The situation does create pressure for Rahul ahead of the must-win fourth T20I and another dilemma for the side who’ve been outclassed by England’s strong line-up led by Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and skipper Eoin Morgan.

Buttler is averaging 55.5 across the three matches, with only Kohli ahead of him for runs with 150 including two half-centuries.

Mark Wood has four wickets from two games, while 2020 IPL MVP Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan have been excellent too.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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