"He has a need for the mental conditioning coach"- Ex-IND Legend's blunt take on KL Rahul's struggling form
India suffered the first loss of the T20 World Cup at the hands of South Africa on Sunday in Perth. India suffered a batting failure which caused them to score a below-par score of 133/9 in their 20 overs. It was star batter Suryakumar Yadav that helped India reach that total.
He made 68 off 40 balls. But it all started with the wicket of KL Rahul, who registered his third consecutive single-digit score of the tournament. He made 9 off 14 balls and after that India had a cluster of wickets.
Notably, Rahul made 4 and 9 against Pakistan and Netherlands in the first two games. He has scored 22 runs in three games at the top. That has gathered a lot of criticism from many former cricketers and fans. Former Indian captain and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar also shared his opinion on Rahul's bad form.
Gavaskar believes that Rahul needs the help of mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton to increase his confidence as the star opener is looking out of confidence in the ongoing marquee tournament.
In a discussion on Sports Tak, Gavaskar said that when a batter is failing to score runs, the batting coach can tell him about his mistakes, but when it is about a lack of confidence, it is the mental conditioning coach that comes into play.
He stated, "We have Paddy Upton as the mental conditioning coach and if he has not done anything with him. There is a need for the mental conditioning coach to talk with the player to increase his confidence. He should tell Rahul that he has got the talent and he can score big runs."
He further said that India doesn't have any other opening options apart from KL Rahul. That is why India needs to be patient with him. Gavaskar also said that someone needs to talk to him and let him know that the team backs him completely.
India managed 133/9 in their first innings, while South Africa also had a rusty start, losing three wickets for just 24 runs in 5.4 overs. But the 76-run partnership between Aiden Markram (52 off 41) and David Miller (59* off 46) helped South Africa win the game.