Team India batter KL Rahul’s form has become a hot subject of discussion due to his fewer numbers, however, his Test average is not the worst among Indian batters, especially since 2020. He has been struggling in Test cricket for over a year and retained his place in the squad for the remaining two games against Australia in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, however, he was removed as the vice-captain of the red-ball side.
It is not the first time that Rahul has had a lean patch. In England in 2018, he had a similar crisis, falling in the first four Test matches. At that point, he was having a problem with leaving his bat hanging away from his body and was getting played on. But the team management was adamant that Rahul had the class to succeed and he came back with a brilliant century in the second innings at the Oval.
KL Rahul’s Test Cricket Performances
We can observe his performance in 2021 and from 2022 onwards based on the above analysis. Let’s first analyse his figures for 2021, he played 10 innings and scored 461 runs at an incredible average of 46.1. Rahul struck a 129-run knock against England in the second Test of the tour. The BPD value he had in 2021 (106.9) was too high, which means that he had to encounter more than 106 deliveries to get out of a match.
In contrast, he only managed to score one half-century from 2022 to now, which came against South Africa in early 2022. Due to his BPD value (44.9), he was unable to stay on the crease for a long period of time. Consequently, his batting average drops drastically from 46.1 to 15.9. In the whole 11 innings, he played from 2022 to now he managed to score only 175 runs in total with around 81% of dot balls.
KL Rahul’s Figures in SENA Countries in 2021
In the chart above, Rahul is located in the first quadrant, which is the ideal quadrant to be in. With a 46.1 overall average and 106.9 BPD value indicates that 2021 was the finest year for KL Rahul in Test cricket. Considering only his performances against SENA countries, he played 8 innings against England and 2 innings against South Africa. Only James Anderson and Ollie Robinson dismissed Rahul more than once in those games.
Despite being dismissed 3 times against Anderson and twice against Robinson, Rahul managed to score concrete runs at an average of 32 and 34.5 respectively. Similarly, Rahul’s dot balls % was 78.3, which is the finest figure as compared to 2022-23.
KL Rahul’s Figures in SENA Countries From 2022-23
In 2022-23, India has only played 7 innings against SENA countries i.e 4 against South Africa and 3 against Australia so far. From the chart, we can notice that KL Rahul lies in the last quadrant, which is the worst quadrant to be in. The only half-century Rahul scored came against South Africa in the first game of 2022. After that, he is unsuccessful in scoring more than 20+ runs in an inning so far.
However, the other Indian top-order batters like R Sharma, V Kohli and C Pujara are too not in acceptable form. Except for R Sharma, who had a 120-run brilliant knock against Australia earlier this month, none of the top-order batters has more than one half-century. Thus, targeting only KL Rahul based on his recent form with 7 innings is insufficient. If the media pursues these measures to criticise a player, then it should also be applied to other top-order batters.
Having been dropped as the vice-captain, Rahul is likely to be left out of the side from the third Test onwards in Indore for Shubman Gill, who was benched in the first couple of games despite being in the state of his life. The management believed he is just one good inning away from finding form and it can occur anytime. In a week’s time, we’ll get to know if KL Rahul gets his final chance or if it’s over to Shubman.