'Ex-players need masala': Gambhir’s ballistic response to Prasad over KL jibe | Crickit
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'Ex-cricketers need masala...': Gautam Gambhir's ballistic response to Venkatesh Prasad for taking jibe at KL Rahul

By, New Delhi
Mar 20, 2023 03:42 PM IST

Hitting back at KL Rahul's critics for questioning the batting credentials of the ex-India vice-captain, former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir took a sly dig at Venkatesh Prasad.

Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has hit back at KL Rahul's critics for questioning the batting credentials of the star player amid the ongoing Australia series. The spotlight has remained on Rahul ever since the star opener was removed from the vice-captaincy post during the 2023 edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. After being replaced by Shubman Gill in India's formidable top-order, the former Indian vice-captain is fighting for his place as a wicketkeeper-batter in the three-match One Day International (ODI) series between India and Australia.

Talking about KL Rahul's performance, Gautam Gambhir took an indirect dig at ex-India pacer Venkatesh Prasad(Getty Images-AP-ANI)
Talking about KL Rahul's performance, Gautam Gambhir took an indirect dig at ex-India pacer Venkatesh Prasad(Getty Images-AP-ANI)

Rahul will lead Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 after the conclusion of the Australia series. Gambhir, who was named the global mentor for all Super Giants teams last year, has come out in the support of the Indian opener ahead of the new season. When asked whether Rahul will be under the pump at the IPL after a dreadful run in the Australia Test series, Gambhir opted to issue a strong statement in the defence of the under-fire batter. The former Indian opener reminded Rahul's critics that the star batter guided LSG to the playoffs last season.

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“What kind of pressure? Last time we (Lucknow Super Giants) finished at No. 3 and it was a tough fight between RR and LSG. Obviously, only one team can lift the trophy. And Gujarat won the IPL, they played excellent cricket last season. And if you take a look at the performance of Lucknow in their debut season, they finished 3rd only because of the NRR. If you finish 2nd in IPL, you get 2 chances at the playoffs,” Gambhir told SportsTak.

“As far as KL Rahul is concerned, I don't think he is under any kind of pressure. International cricket and IPL are different from each other. If you don't perform in international cricket despite scoring 1000 runs in IPL, you will still have to deal with criticism. And that's international cricket for you. After all, only 15 players get a chance to play for India. In IPL, more than 150 players get selected. Thus, you should not compare these two (IPL and international cricket).” Gambhir added.

LSG skipper Rahul smashed 616 runs in Lucknow's debut IPL season last year. Talking about Rahul's performance in the world's richest T20 league, Gambhir also took an indirect dig at ex-India pacer Venkatesh Prasad. Former Indian pacer Prasad had launched a scathing attack on Rahul after the senior batter registered mediocre scores in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Repaying selectors' faith in the Australia ODIs, Rahul played a match-winning knock of 75 in the series opener at Mumbai.

“How Rahul has fared in the IPL, he has 4-5 centuries in the tournament. And you are talking about a player who has already slammed 4-5 centuries. Even last season he scored a century against Mumbai Indians. We have so many people here. Sometimes ex-cricketers need some masala to remain active. So that's why you criticise people. According to me, the kind of player KL is, he won't be under any kind of pressure. You can't win a tournament with one player. The 25 players who are inside the dressing room help you win the tournament,” Gambhir concluded.

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