‘Only he can make 360 degree batting orthodox’ - Manjrekar’s huge praise for India batsman
Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar praised KL Rahul for his spectacular batting performance in India’s first ODI against New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton. After being pushed down to bat at no. 5 once again, the right-hander hammered an unbeaten 88 runs in 64 balls to help his side to a mammoth total of 347/4 in 50 overs. Rahul struck three fours and six sixes in his innings and played at a strike rate of 137.50. But his batting effort went in vain as New Zealand veteran Ross Taylor slammed an unbeaten 109 runs in 84 balls to help his side chase down the target with four wickets in hand and 11 balls to spare.
But despite India’s defeat, Manjrekar praised Rahul, describing him as a “360 degree” batsman. “Only K L Rahul can make 360 degrees batting look orthodox and classical,” the cricketer-turned-commentator wrote on Twitter.
With the defeat, India went 1-0 down in the three-match ODI series. Speaking on the loss, skipper Virat Kohli said: “An oustanding performance by New Zealand. We thought 348 was good enough, especially after the start we got with the ball. I think Tom’s innings took the game away from us. Ross and Tom were unstoppable in the middle overs.”
Kohli added that India need to improve on the field going forward in the seris: “We were decent in the field, we dropped one chance. We need to improve though. We can’t think about that one chance. To bat with a positive frame of mind for about 25 overs after that chance is not a small thing at all. I got to say that the opposition played better than us and deserved to win today.”
The 30-year-old also reserved praise for Rahul and Shreyas Iyer who struck his maiden ODI ton. “Both new openers gave us a good start, hope they continue to do the same. Shreyas’s hundred was outstanding and KL was brilliant with the bat too,” he said.
India and New Zealand will play the 2nd ODI on Saturday in Auckland.