Gautam Gambhir backs KL Rahul to hits 50-ball ton in Tests

Indore: Former opener Gautam Gambhir is mighty impressed with the way K.L. Rahul batted during India’s comfortable seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second T20I and said it amazes him why the right-handed batsman can’t play the same way in Tests. On Tuesday, Rahul top-scored with a 32-ball 45 as India chased down the meagre target of 143 with utmost ease at the Holkar Stadium.

“Rahul is in unbelievable form. It amazes me every time I see Rahul bat that why didn’t he play the same way in Test cricket,” Gambhir told the host broadcasters. “It’s not about only white-ball cricket; it is about Test cricket too. He just got into a shell too much. With the kind of quality he posses, he is someone who can get you a 50-ball 100 in Test cricket as well. The kind of shots he has is superb,” he added.

Shikhar Dhawan, who is making a return to the team after an injury lay-off, also contributed with a “rusty” 30-ball 32. Both Dhawan and Rahul are virtually playing for the second opener’s slot for the World T20, with Rohit Sharma set to be one.

And Gambhir feels going by the current form, Rahul should be opening the batting alongside Rohit in Australia. “You can’t compare IPL to international cricket. When you’re playing for Delhi Capitals, you know there’s no one waiting for the opportunity, but when you’re playing for the country and you know there’s someone who’s actually can replace you, there’ll always be pressure. And today it was shown who’s in better form,” Gambhir said.

The cricketer-turned-politician, however, exuded confidence that Dhawan will bounce back strongly in the next game. “Shikhar Dhawan looked rusty but it’s a good thing that he got some runs under his belt. It will help him when he walks out to bat in the next game. Had he got out early, the pressure would have been more,” he said.

India will play Sri Lanka in the final T20I in Pune on Friday before taking on Australia in a three-match ODI series beginning January 14 in Mumbai.