Danish Kaneria has heaped praises on KL Rahul, after the right-hander scored a crucial 84 in the first innings of the ongoing India-England Test at Trent Bridge. Kaneria further stated that Ravindra Jadeja is a must-have in the team irrespective of the format, given his all-round skills.
KL Rahul wasn’t an automatic pick in India’s first choice XI ahead of their five-match Test series in England, even after his promising hundred in the practice game in the lead-up to the first Test. However, with Shubman Gill forced out of injury earlier, an untimely concussion blow to Mayank Agarwal in the nets opened up the doors for the 29-year-old. Playing his first Test in two years, Rahul demonstrated exemplary technical proficiency and application against the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and a young Ollie Robinson, scoring 84 during his 214-ball stay.
A feature of his long stay at the crease was his assured defensive play and control - the key ingredients for an opening batsman to succeed in England. Danish Kaneria, who represented Pakistan in 61 Tests and 19 ODIs, was mighty impressed with Rahul’s knock.
“The way KL Rahul applied himself was really superb,” Kaneria said.
“He batted exactly the way one has to in England. KL Rahul is apparently cementing his place at the top of the order in Test cricket. The ball was moving and there was also uneven bounce. But he played steadily and with confidence.”
After a 97-run opening stand between Rahul and Rohit Sharma, India had slipped to 112/4 and further to 145/5 in reply to England’s first innings score of 183. It was at this point Ravindra Jadeja stitched a 60-run partnership with Rahul to take the visitors into the lead. Jadeja eventually brought up his 16th Test fifty and useful contributions from the lower order thereafter extended India’s first-innings lead to 95.
Kaneria appreciated Jadeja’s “remarkable” all-round skills, adding that he is a must-have in any line-up.
“Whenever you make an ODI, T20I or Test team, Jadeja is a type of player that cannot be left out. He is a remarkable all-rounder. His brilliant knock of 56 and Rahul's innings helped India take a first-innings lead.”