Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann feels that India opener KL Rahul needs to get on the front foot more while batting to hit as well as watch the ball hard in order to get back in form ahead of a crucial Group 2 match against Bangladesh at Adelaide Oval in the T20 World Cup.
Rahul has had a very torrid time in the T20 World Cup, with scores of 4, 9 and 9 in the three matches played by India in Super 12s till now. He has been overly cautious at the crease, and hasn’t shown much footwork in his batting to dominate the opposition bowlers.
“I don’t think there is (anything to worry). I think he’s just out of form. He looked like he was getting back in form at Perth when he smashed one out of the ground, but then, he ran one down to slip. So, it’s just a batsman, who’s trying to play the ball too late at the minute.
“He needs to get on the front foot more, hit the ball and really watch the ball hard. You definitely can’t drop him, KL Rahul is a potential super star in the World Cup final. I’d stick with him as Adelaide’s a beautiful batting wicket, so make hay (while the sun shines),” said Swann on ‘Game Plan’ show on Star Sports.
In India’s campaign till now in the showpiece event, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav have been the standout batters for the side. Kohli slammed an unbeaten 82 to snatch a thrilling four-wicket victory against Pakistan at the MCG and was 62 not out against Netherlands at SCG.
Adelaide Oval has been a happy hunting ground for Kohli in the past, scoring a whopping 843 runs in nine matches across all formats at the venue, including five centuries and two half-centuries while averaging 70.25. Swann sees Kohli getting big runs against Bangladesh due to his familiarity with the venue and its dimensions.
“Well, I could only imagine how it makes you feel as a batsman, because I never quite had that. But, I know Adelaide as a bowler. You get intimidated, it’s such a good batting wicket. The square boundaries are very small, smaller than a lot of Indian grounds, tiny, but the straight boundaries are enormous.
“So, you desperately try and bowl straight to get the guys hit you down the ground. But as soon as people eye those square boundaries, and Virat is a master doing that, his cover drive, and then flicking and pulling, it’s a horrible place to bowl. I think Virat is going to probably score some big runs.”