'We have seen it hurt Punjab Kings': Manjrekar weighs in on KL Rahul's 'impact' with the bat after donning captaincy hat

  • After two quick blows, Rahul & Pant added 115 runs on Friday before the former became the first ODI victim of medium-pacer Sisanda Magala.
India's KL Rahul (REUTERS)
India's KL Rahul (REUTERS)
Published on Jan 21, 2022 08:58 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

KL Rahul played the role of second fiddle as Rishabh Pant outscored his captain in the second ODI against South Africa at Paarl. After electing to bat first, the Indian opening duo of Rahul and Dhawan took the team past the 50-run mark in the ninth over. Aiden Markram gave Proteas the breakthrough dismissing Dhawan for 29 and the Indian team was dealt with another blow in the next over, with Virat Kohli making his way back on a nought.

After two quick blows, Rahul & Pant added 115 runs before the former became the first ODI victim of medium-pacer Sisanda Magala. He scored a 79-ball 55 but cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar feels the captaincy burden might have diminished the impact of Rahul – the batter.

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Manjrekar wants Rahul to take a leaf out of Kohli's book and provide more impetus to India's batting. "When he's a captain [for Punjab Kings] he has a strike rate of 133 and when he's not the captain 146. So this is KL Rahul, when he becomes captain, the impact that he makes as a batter gets diminished and that's something that hurts the team in the end and we have seen it hurt Punjab Kings in the IPL. 

"Today, you could say with Rishabh Pant batting there and the kind of overall confidence that the Indian team currently has, he saw potential issues had he got out early, especially with Virat Kohli gone," he said in an interaction with ESPNcricinfo.

"So I can understand the innings but going forward, I just want to see KL Rahul [be] the guy who makes an impact with the bat. Like Virat Kohli, for example, when he became the captain didn't lose Virat Kohli the batter who won him a lot of games. I want to see the same with KL Rahul," he further said.

Manjrekar also highlighted Rahul's struggles in the previous game, which saw the Indian skipper being mediocre in terms of on-your-feet thinking, as opposed to Temba Bavuma.

“Staying in the moment is key, no long-term plans. Because that was the most impressive part of Bavuma's captaincy and how he used his bowlers optimally. Rahul didn't do that in the last game. A couple of his bowlers were being expensive but he completed their 10. ”

"Today Shamsi bowled as much as he should and even with Keshav Maharaj and Markam... So India [will have to] find a way to ensure that nobody over-bowls - if it's their day, they complete the 10 overs, if they are not bowling well then they don't bowl the full quota of 10," Manjrekar further added.

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