Rahul finds support from Arun

Prithvi Shaw and Lokesh Rahul during a practice session ahead of the second India-West Indies Test match in Hyderabad on Wednesday. PTI

While K L Rahul’s form this year has left a lot to be desired, it is his manner of dismissals that has become the talking point. Going by his recent record, a pacer would bet on a sharp inswinger to dismiss the stylish opener.

To an incoming delivery, Rahul is usually trapped on the crease with his foot nowhere near the pitch of the ball. Clueless in tackling this ball, Rahul often sees his stumps rattled or he walks back to the hut leg before wicket. This technical flaw is one of the major reasons behind his disappointing show of eight scores of 10 or below this year.  

His footwork came to haunt Rahul again in the first Test against the West Indies. On a surface where as many as three batsmen made centuries, Rahul would have cursed himself for getting dismissed for a duck.

India face a stern test Down Under later this year where a good start will play a key role. Despite his struggles, Bharat Arun, India’s bowling coach, offered support to the right-hander. “He has got outstanding potential. He is a fantastic player,” said Arun at a press conference here on Wednesday.    

“Ravi Shastri and Sanjay Bangar had a very good chat with Rahul. I think he is somebody we should persist with. We definitely have a superb batsman for the future,” he added. India did persist with the 26-year-old in the England series. Rahul, to some extent, silenced his critics with a 149-run knock at the Oval, an innings studded with an array of shots.

Another batsman aiming to find form in the ongoing two-match Test series against the West Indies is Ajinkya Rahane. The India vice-captain was left frustrated after squandering a start in the first Test in Rajkot. “I think he’s in good shape. If you look at his overseas record, Rahane’s performance is one of the best. It’s just a question of him going out there and performing. And he’s got everything to do well at any given point of time,” Arun explained.

Umesh Yadav, in the absence of lead pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, impressed in the game at Rajkot. Speaking about the limited opportunities received by the Vidarbha bowler, Arun said: “It’s very unfortunate that Umesh didn’t get to play much in South Africa and in England. Also, our bowlers who played performed exceptionally well. We look at Umesh as someone who is quick and we also have a system where we rotate the bowlers so that they remain fresh. And Umesh will definitely be a part of that. And we are extremely confident of what Umesh can bring to the table,” he offered.

 

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