'Only question mark would have been...': Sunil Gavaskar gives honest admission on KL Rahul's return after Asia Cup

By, New Delhi
Sep 18, 2023 03:39 PM IST

After India were crowned Asia Cup champions, Sunil Gavaskar passed his verdict about KL Rahul's comeback to the Indian side for the World Cup.

KL Rahul's return to the Indian cricket team was perhaps the biggest takeaway when Team India announced their squad for the recently concluded edition of the Asia Cup. Record-time winners India extended its dominance in the continental tournament winning the famous trophy for the eighth time. After Rohit Sharma's Team India hammered defending champions Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023 final on Sunday, legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has passed his verdict on Rahul's sensational comeback in the Asia Cup.

Sunil Gavaskar has shared his views on Rahul's comeback(AP-HT)
Sunil Gavaskar has shared his views on Rahul's comeback(AP-HT)

In his comeback match against Pakistan, the former vice-captain slammed a brilliant century to seal a famous win for India. Teaming up with an on-song Virat Kohli, versatile Rahul struck an unbeaten 111 as India recorded its biggest win over Pakistan in One Day Internationals (ODIs) at the Asia Cup 2023. Rahul, who admitted that he was a little nervous about his comeback, has earned plaudits from batting legend Gavaskar.

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'Only question mark would have been…'

Speaking to India Today after India lifted the famous Asia Cup trophy in Sri Lanka before the ICC World Cup, batting maestro Gavaskar welcomed the return of the star batter. "Very, very good to see him fit. We all knew what his quality is. He has proven it over such a long time. The only question mark would have been about his fitness and in that century knock against Pakistan, he showed his fitness because it was not just a question of playing a long innings, but also running between the wickets. And who are you running with? Probably the fastest runner in the game between 22 yards, Virat Kohli. He did that so well. And later on came and kept wickets for a major part. That 100 percent proves his fitness," Gavaskar said.

How Rahul performed in Asia Cup

Rahul had missed the group stages of the Asia Cup due to a niggle which was not related to his initial thigh injury. However, Rahul responded to his critics with match-altering knocks at the business end of the competition. Roped in as a middle-order batter, wicketkeeper Rahul smashed 169 runs in 3 innings at the Asia Cup. The wicketkeeper-batter achieved an average of 84.50 in the tournament. Already named in India's World Cup squad, the 31-year-old is expected to keep wickets for Rohit and Co. in the upcoming series against Australia.

'Don't think he actually realises how good a player he is'

“The most important thing was the self-belief he showed in that particular century. Often, I have always said... I have said about him way back in 2016 or 17 that he is going to be the next big thing in Indian cricket. If he hasn't, he himself has to be blamed because I don't think he actually realises how good a player he is. Sometimes, when he is batting, when is on the field, he gives the impression that he is not very confident about himself. On the field, you want that confidence to come through. You saw that confidence in that Pakistan innings. He got to play like that every time. He does sometimes play like that in the IPL. But now to see him bat the way that he did was absolutely wonderful,” Gavaskar added.

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