KL Rahul has been considered an essential part of India’s T20 plans.
Even though there was criticism about his strike rate in the IPL, his position in the Indian team was rarely questioned.
KL Rahul averages nearly 40 with a strike-rate of 142.37 after 53 innings – which may look impressive.
However, if one goes beyond these numbers, a worrying pattern begins to emerge.
27 of Rahul’s 53 T20I outings have been against Australia, England, New Zealand and Pakistan.
In these matches, he averages just 30.78 with a below-par strike rate of 133.56.
However, in the remaining 26 innings, played against Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Scotland, West Indies and Sri Lanka, Rahul averages 50.32 with a strike-rate of 149.85!
This is the clearest indicator that KL Rahul is a flat track bully who fails to perform against top-notch attacks.
Consider these stats.
Last year, in over 11 matches that included the T20 World Cup in UAE, Rahul’s average was just 28.90 with a strike-rate of 130.76.
Interestingly, he failed to perform versus Pakistan and New Zealand that led to defeats which eventually led to India’s exit.
However, he smashed Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia for scores of 69, 54 and 50* – once again showing his prowess against weaker sides.
Make no mistake, Rahul’s position is already under threat.
There is a high chance that Rahul will then find himself in a direct tussle with Kohli, who has previously announced his wish to open the innings.
If Rahul continues to fail at the top, India may start looking at Kohli as an opener who can effectively attack the seamers in the power play.
Thankfully, for Rahul, Dravid is a strong supporter.
Dravid will be hoping that KL Rahul finds his mojo with more game time ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia.
However, nobody can save Rahul if he continues to fail, as competition for every slot in India’s T20 team is really fierce.