Team India made a winning start to the ODI series against Australia, beating the visitors by five wickets in Mumbai. The side bowled Australia out on 188 before chasing down the target with over 10 overs to spare; KL Rahul, who had been facing significant criticism for his lack of form, bailed India out of a tricky situation as he smashed an unbeaten 75 off 91 deliveries, forging a 108-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja (45*) to take India to victory.
The hosts were reeling at 39/4 in the 189-run chase when Rahul, alongside Hardik Pandya, provided some stability to the innings. Even as Hardik eventually departed on 25, Rahul held one end steady and displayed brilliant composure to guide India to a 1-0 lead in the series. Following the game, the fans and former cricketers alike lauded Rahul for his excellent comeback, and Pakistan’s former captain Salman Butt accused the BCCI selection committee for putting unnecessary pressure on the star batter.
Also read: ‘He can bring that factor. Sehwag, Yuvraj, Tendulkar did that’: Raina’s stunning claim on surprise pick for 2023 WC
Butt believes there should’ve been proper communication with Rahul, and that persisting with Indian batter even when he had failed to score runs only made it worse for the 30-year-old star.
“There will always be criticism. When you play well, they’re forced to praise you When you don’t play well, you’re bound to be criticised. You look at Babar Azam… no matter what he does, people keep criticising him. Some people don’t know anything else but to criticise,” Butt said as he talked about Rahul.
“In Rahul’s case, I think BCCI selection committee is also to be blamed. You kept playing an out-of-form player in Tests, kept exposing him when you already had an in-form Shubman Gill on the bench. I understand you wanted to give him confidence, but there are other ways, you communicate to him properly. You could’ve saved him from unnecessary criticism and exposure,” Butt further said on his official YouTube channel.
Rahul had played in the first two Tests of the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy but was dropped following poor performances; he was replaced by Shubman Gill in the role, who smashed a brilliant hundred in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.