Trend suggests a run feast from KL Rahul against the Dutch

K L Rahul
K L Rahul has made merry against the minnows. File photo: AFP

The Indian batting is heavily reliant on the top-3 consisting of captain Rohit Sharma, his opening partner K L Rahul and Virat Kohli. India's failure in the last T20 World Cup and the recent Asia Cup had a lot to do with the rather ordinary show of the trio in the big games.

A closer look will reveal that among the three, Rahul has struggled the most in the crunch games. These games being the ones against Pakistan and New Zealand in the last T20 World Cup, Pakistan (both group match and Super 4) and Sri Lanka clashes in the Asia Cup, and also the opening Super 12 match against Pakistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup.

The right-hander has managed just 59 runs in these six games as opposed to Rohit's 130 and Kohli's 243.

Rahul has a highest score of 28, while Rohit has managed a lone fifty – 72 against Lanka – and Kohli has three fifties to his credit with the best being the match-winning unbeaten 82 against Pakistan at the MCG on Sunday. In fact Kohli has three fifties from the past four games against Pakistan.

The interesting thing is that while Rahul has come a cropper in the crucial games, he's been lethal against the minnows. The 30-year-old raked up 271 runs from five games against Afghanistan, Scotland, Namibia (last T20 World Cup) and against Hong Kong and Afghanistan (Asia Cup). Rohit scored 181 runs from five games, while Kohli notched up 183 from three outings against these less fancied teams.

Naseem Shah
Naseem Shah, second left, sent back K L Rahul for four in the opening Super 12 match. File photo: AFP/William West

Rahul looks a completely different player against the weaker sides as his strike rate of over 160 confirms. In short when the pressure is less he looks in command and attains beast mode in T20Is.

There is no doubting his talent. Rahul is a quality player and has got all the shots in the book. Besides, he has Test hundreds in Australia, England and South Africa. Rahul has been equally impressive in white-ball cricket too.

But he has a problem when it comes to succeeding in the pressure games. Going by his past performance, Indian fans can expect a treat from him against the Netherlands in their second Super 12 match in Sydney on Thursday.

The fact that they got out of the jail in the opener against Pakistan will lessen the burden on the shoulders of the Indian players. This campaign offers an excellent chance for the Men in Blue, especially Rahul to set the record straight.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.