Former India pacer Irfan Pathan has called out KL Rahul for his mental toughness after his poor form with the bat is being pointed out as one of the reasons for India’s shameful exit from the T20 World Cup 2022 after they lost to England in the second semi-final.
KL Rahul’s poor outing with the bat meant that the Indian team didn’t get the sort of starts that they should’ve gotten by their openers. KL Rahul scored half-centuries against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, but besides that, his scores were 4,9, and 9 in league-stage matches, while he managed only 5 runs against England in the semi-final.
He looked uncomfortable in the powerplays and didn’t score quickly as India posted a total of 40 runs or more in powerplays just once in the entire tournament. This in turn affected his partner Rohit Sharma as well, as he tried to force the pace in the first six overs, often perishing for low scores.
Former India player Irfan Pathan spoke about the same and said that KL Rahul’s half-centuries do not mean much since they came against smaller teams.
“He started badly. After that, when he scored two half-centuries, they definitely came against teams where you expect runs, I felt another half-century was about to come, the form is about to come. But this has been a problem with KL Rahul for a long time,” Irfan Pathan said on Star Sports.
If You Are Slightly Soft At The Top, It Makes A Huge Impact On Your Cricket: Irfan Pathan On KL Rahul’s Lack Of Mental Toughness
Indian team paid heavily for this foley of theirs as while other teams were aiming for 200 runs from the start and making 170-180, India could only aim for 180 and had to be content for scores of 160-170 range.
Speaking about the mental aspect of the game, Pathan said that Rahul does not have the confidence to back himself, something that translates into poor performance.
“When you watch him bat, you feel he is technically fantastic, but I feel when it comes to being tough on the mental front, he doesn’t back himself there. We have spoken about his strike rate earlier.
When he comes back from injury, his initial movement is probably late. Here also both his feet were in the air. If he wanted, he could have given himself room and played the cut shot. He has all the ability against both pace and spin but if you are slightly soft at the top, it makes a huge impact on your cricket,” he concluded.
KL Rahul has been rested along with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli from the tour of New Zealand, but a dissection of his performance might be done once the Indian team comes back home.