Andy Flower recalls his first meeting with KL Rahul, touts him as an excellent candidate to lead India

IPL team Lucknow Supergiants coach Andy Flower on Saturday recalled his first meeting with KL Rahul and called the stylish right-handed batter an excellent candidate to lead Indian cricket team.

In absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma, Rahul has captained India at many occasions across formats, achieving a mixed success. Though the cricket fans didn’t like the captaincy style of the opener, he was considered ahead in the pecking order to become India’s next captain after Rohit.

However, KL had an ordinary tour of Bangladesh with the bat and things changed drastically for him, with Hardik Pandya replacing him as the vice-captain of India for the ODIs against Sri Lanka, which gave an indication towards Rahul dim future as skipper for ‘Men in Blue’.

But Flower, who has worked with Rahul during his stints at PBKS and LSG, is confident about the batter’s captaincy skill.

“KL is a superb batter, beautiful to watch, I love watching him bat, always have. I first came across him when I was coaching England Lions, we played against India A in Trivandrum, so I have been a keen follower of him as a batsman since then,” the former Zimbabwean cricketer told IANS at the sidelines of ILT20.

Asked about KL leading India, Flower called him an excellent candidate.

“He is also an outstanding young man and a really good leader, he is very calm, measured, he is good company. I respect him and really enjoy working with him. What I know of him, he will be an excellent candidate. I don’t know the other guys very well so can’t comment on that, selectors might see that,” he said.

The 54-year-old also suggested that Rahul must contribute in whatever team needs from him.

“He must play the role the team needs him and I am sure selectors will ask him to do that,” the experienced coach said.

Flower, who is coaching Gulf Giants — a franchise owned by Adani Group — at the inaugural edition of ILT20, understands the responsibility of coaching a new team.

“We are very proud and privileged to represent the Adani franchise in ILT20. It’s very exciting for us to be the first Adani cricket franchise team and we really embrace that responsibility. It’s also very exciting to be a part of a brand new tournament and we have very high hopes for the league.”

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