India batting coach Vikram Rathour has cleared that they aren’t thinking of replacing KL Rahul with Rishabh Pant, despite the opener’s poor form in this edition of the T20 World Cup 2022.
In India’s famous win over arch-rivals Pakistan, KL Rahul could manage only four runs while in their most recent encounter against the Netherlands, he scored just nine runs.
The 30-year-old has been at the centre of stern criticism due to his underwhelming performances with frustrated fans urging the team management to replace him with Rishabh Pant.
Speaking at the press conference ahead of the clash against South Africa, as quoted by NDTV, the Indian batting coach brushed aside suggestions of Rishabh Pant replacing KL Rahul at the top of the order.
Rathour said that the sample size of two games isn’t enough to judge a player and make a bold call for replacement. Weighing in on Rishabh Pant’s inclusion in the team, the India batting coach conceded that Rishabh Pant is being asked to be fully prepared to grab an opportunity that arises for him.
“No, we’re not really thinking that. Two games, I don’t think that’s a good enough sample size anyways. He’s been batting really well and he’s batted really well in the practice games, also, so we’re not looking at any such thing at the moment,” said Rathour.
“Only 11 can play unfortunately and I know and understand Rishabh is a fantastic player and we know he can be destructive against any opposition. The message to him is to be ready and your chance might come anytime,” he added.
“He should be mentally and physically ready. He is doing that and you might have seen him practicing regularly. I am sure he will be ready whenever the opportunity comes,” Rathour concluded.
The difference in approaches between KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma
On being asked about the differences in approaches of Indian openers, Rathour said that every player has their unique way of playing and building their innings. He also backed KL Rahul to come good against South Africa in their upcoming fixture on Sunday, October 30.
“Every player has his own style of playing. Both of them have their own way of playing and constructing their innings, while looking at the surface. There have been good partnerships too, where both of them have played well and shown good form, which they do really well.”
“I am sure that the day Rahul will be in good form and he’s striking the ball from the middle of the bat, he can take up the role of the aggressor very easily and he will do that. It’s not like one will be the aggressor and another won’t be. We are looking to score as many runs as we can as a batting unit. So, whosoever has to play in a [aggressive] way, we will do that.”