The packed house at the Wankhede on Wednesday must have wondered why K.L. Rahul is in and out of Team India.
Someone who cut his teeth in international cricket five years ago with a 110 against Australia in his second Test in Sydney, ought to have established permanency in the national team.
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Rahul plays a brand of cricket that’s highly entertaining and excites everyone — in the stands as well as living rooms. On Wednesday, he was terrific, thundering his way to a 56-ball 91 with nine 4s and four 6s.
He has not played enough matches to be anywhere near the boundary aggregate of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli but is only second behind Kohli in the entertainment quotient index.
The Karnataka right-hander, who has the knack of scoring off any ball, seems to have a special liking for the Wankhede surface; last April he made an unbeaten 100 for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.
When asked whether the Wankhede wicket was better than Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram, he said: “I love playing here; any wicket that has pace and bounce is what all batsmen like.
“Wankhede is one such ground where we get to play our shots freely. And the crowd is amazing, electrifying. You just want to be out there in the middle and entertain them, so we love coming to the Wankhede.”
Rahul is back in the thick of things and must be a front-runner for the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia. The team has a success rate of 67.65% when he plays (23/34) and 57.89% in the 19 he has not played.
The team management has backed him and he has come back strongly in the three-match series against the West Indies.
When he gets going, Rahul looks to score runs that’s par for the course and on many occasions he surpasses it. So far he has scored 1,138 runs off 777 balls at 8.79 an over.
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