Questions raised that does India really need KL Rahul, highlights Scott Styris
Scott Styris has stated KL Rahul's long absence from the Indian team had put his place in doubt|
Scott Styris has indicated that KL Rahul might not be an automatic pick in the Indian T20 side anymore given the team's success without him. He commended the Indian dressing room for their usually positive culture but highlighted there is always competition brewing in such places for positions.
Over the past few years, KL Rahul has emerged as one of the leading lights in Indian cricket with his consistent performances. One of the few all-format players remaining in the modern game, the batsman has ascended to the position of vice-captain after Virat Kohli called quits on his stint as captain of the national team. However, the top-order talisman has had to endure long periods of time on the bench owing to injuries, allowing players on the bench to wear the Indian colours and prove their mettle.
Former Black Caps all-rounder Scott Styris has explained how such a situation can affect players, given they can see their chances slipping away. Even though the players ultimately want the success of the team, the personal competition for a spot in the lineup can impact them negatively.
"It's a different mindset for players because they don't want to be out and they don't want to be giving other players opportunities. I know India has a very good culture within its group, so it doesn't mind allowing other players opportunities all the time. I know as a player myself, you never wanted to give somebody else a chance to take your spot," Styris said on SPORTS18's daily sports news show 'Sports Over The Top'.
Rahul was meant to captain the Men in Blue for the five-match T20I series at home against the Proteas in June but encountered a hernia just a day before it was scheduled to begin. Following surgery in Germany and rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy, Rahul was expected to return to the ongoing T20I series in the Caribbean when COVID-19 struck, delaying his comeback by another three weeks.
In the meanwhile, the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant have all partnered with Rohit Sharma at the top of the order and performed relatively well. Yadav has been particularly impressive, smashing a match-winning 76 in the third T20I to take home the man of the match award. The question now raised is when Rahulultimately returns for the Asia Cup and the subsequent World T20, whose place will he usurp in the team and whether he will still be an automatic pick for the marquee events.
"With the fact that he's out injured and he's away from the team at the moment, it just means that other players are able to do what Suryakumar is doing, what Rishabh Pant is doing, getting in there, taking the chance scoring runs and really posing the selectors some questions saying, do we actually need KL Rahul? Is he going to be in good form when he comes back? He has missed a lot of cricket, a lot of question marks now present themselves just because he's been able to give other players that opportunity," added Styris.