India's Thangarasu Natarajan, second left, is congratulated by teammate India's K.L. Rahul(AP)
India's Thangarasu Natarajan, second left, is congratulated by teammate India's K.L. Rahul(AP)

India vs Australia: ‘I’d pay to watch him’ - Brian Lara heaps praise on India star ahead of Australia Tests

Heaping praise on India batsman KL Rahul, Brian Lara said he would pay to watch the right-hander bat when former Australia captain Ricky Ponting asked him to pick his favourite player.
By hindsutantimes.com | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 12, 2020 02:05 PM IST

Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon – It’s a tough job to find a more exciting pool of talent than this going into a Test series. The upcoming India-Australia four-match series is expected to be a cricket fan’s delight with some of the biggest and most followed cricketers going up against each other for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

To pick one among them is not an easy task. But not for Brian Lara. The West Indies legend had only name in his mind when he asked to name his player for the upcoming series.

Heaping praise on India batsman KL Rahul, Lara said he would pay to watch the right-hander bat when former Australia captain Ricky Ponting asked him to pick his favourite player.

Also Read | ‘He will bat at No.4 after Virat Kohli leaves’: Gavaskar names his pick

“Brian, who is your favourite player in international cricket at the moment?” Asked Ponting while hosting a discussion for 7 cricket, the host broadcaster for the India vs Australia Test series with Lara and Sunil Gavaskar.

“That’s easy! It’s KL Rahul. If you’re talking about the two teams that are playing, KL Rahul it is for me. He is someone I’d pay to watch to bat,” said Lara.

The stylish left-hander said the way Rahul scores runs in the shortest format of the game by playing correct cricket shots is what makes him special.

“In the world Jofra Archer is excellent, Nicholas Pooran is there but I just love watching KL Rahul, especially in T20s, I know he’s going into Test cricket but in T20 when you see guy batting correctly with the ability to score runs with traditional shots, is just exceptional to watch,” added Lara.

Also Read | ‘Virat Kohli has his say in everything’: Former Pakistan captain

Sharing his opinion about Rahul, who is making a comeback into the Indian Test side on the back of his white-ball form, Ponting said the Karnataka right-hander appeared to be a proper Test cricketer when he first arrived but it was commendable the way he moulded his game to become a very successful limited-overs batsman.

“He’s an interesting one for me. If you wind the clock 2-3 years back, he was probably an out and out technically correct Test match batsman but what he’s been able to do with his T20 batting in the last 2 IPLs has been unbelievable. He’s probably turned himself into a better white-ball player now. That doesn’t happen that often,” Ponting added.

Rahul kept wickets for India throughout the limited-overs series but did not feature in any of the two warm-up games in the lead up to the Test series. It will be interesting to see if he gets the nod ahead of Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw in the first Test in Adelaide starting from December 17.

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