India’s experienced spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has claimed that KL Rahul didn’t go anywhere when it comes to ODI cricket. Rahul was dropped from the third Test match against Australia at Indore after he returned with scores of 20, 17, and 1 in the three innings he played in the first two Test matches.
However, Rahul was back to his best in the first ODI against Australia as he scored an unbeaten knock of 75 runs to help the team chase down 189 runs. India was reeling at 39-4 but Rahul was able to steady the ship along with Ravindra Jadeja.
The wicket-keeper bat has been performing consistently while batting at number five in ODI cricket. Rahul has scored 742 runs in 18 matches at an average of 53 while batting at number five.
Ashwin said on his YouTube Channel, “Immediately after his [KL Rahul’s] knock, people are like, “KL Rahul is back!” KL Rahul didn’t go anywhere when it comes to ODI cricket to be back. He didn’t go anywhere for us to put him down one day and then suddenly celebrate him the other day. We shouldn’t do that.
“In the sporting world, we should know how to assess a player’s performance correctly. If we don’t do that, we will back all the wrong people and will play all the wrong people.”
Ashwin hailed Rahul for doing a consistent job for the team in ODI cricket. Rahul has amassed 1954 runs in 53 ODI matches at an average of 45.44. The off-spinner feels people can be a bit harsh on social media.
“If the people we like do something good and get trending on Twitter, we will start celebrating them and worshipping them like anything,” Ashwin continued.
“But if they are going through a bad patch, we will not appreciate or celebrate their value or the magnitude of what they are doing.
“KL Rahul is doing a very difficult role for India with ease. He has been a proper box office in ODIs. He has got phenomenal numbers batting at number five. Go and search if you can find anyone even close to him in terms of his numbers in ODI cricket.”
Ashwin went on to add that there isn’t a single player who has made a mark in the 50-over version while batting at number five as it is a difficult position to bat.
“Sometimes, it is very funny, right? Consider everyone currently batting at No.5 in ODI cricket currently,” Ashwin elaborated. “There isn’t even one cricketer at the moment who bats at No.5 in ODIs and has made a mark for himself because it is a very tough position to bat.
“Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni were the only two guys who batted mostly at No.5 in ODIs and made a mark for themselves. For Australia, it was Michael Bevan.”
Rahul was dismissed for nine runs in the second ODI. The third ODI will be played at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on Wednesday.