It was the perfect comeback for KL Rahul as he slammed an impressive century during the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 match between India and Pakistan on Monday. Rahul missed the first two matches of the competition due to a niggle but his inclusion in this match proved to be a masterstroke as he stitched together a brilliant partnership with Virat Kohli to take India to a mammoth total of 356/2 against a formidable Pakistan bowling attack. Rahul remained unbeaten on 111 off 106 deliveries with the help of 12 fours and 2 sixes. Rahul came out to bat at the No. 4 slot – a position that has been hotly debated of late – and his knock was a solid indication of his comfort to bat with the top-order.
Both Rahul and Shreyas came into the side on the back of prolonged injury breaks and with Ishan Kishan being preferred as the No. 5 batter, the question was always between them. However, with Rahul gaining the initial advantage, the team management may have a perfect solution to their dilemma.
It was not an easy road to recovery for KL Rahul. The right-handed batter showed glimpses of form during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 but a thigh injury completely ruined his plans.
The extent of the injury was such that Rahul had to undergo surgery and the long absence only fueled doubts regarding his return to the side.
Both fans and some experts were not convinced about his inclusion in the side for Asia Cup 2023 and ICC World Cup 2023 and it looked like he had a tough journey ahead for him.
“I got injured while trying to chase a ball and my tendon snapped. I had a full-fledged tear, my tendon ripped apart from my quadricep. So when it happened, I was obviously me, my family, the franchise, the team, everybody had their fingers crossed hoping that wasn’t a big tear, it was a small strain or I could get better in a couple of weeks,” he recalled during an interview on BCCI.tv.
“But once we did the scans in a couple of days we knew it was a full tear and it was quite clear that in terms of how I can get better from this injury was to go under the knife and do surgery,” he added.
However, that did not stop Rahul as he completed his recovery at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru and was also included in the Asia Cup squad as a wicket-keeper batter. But, tragedy struck once again as a niggle meant that he missed the first two games of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the debate surrounding Rahul or Ishan Kishan getting a spot in the playing XI continued to intensify. With a 81-ball-82 against Pakistan in the group stages, Kishan made a solid case for himself and it looked like Rahul may not find a place.
However, a late injury to Shreyas Iyer came as a somewhat bittersweet opportunity for Rahul and he did not miss the chance to somewhat silence his critics.
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