On KL Rahul's Criticism, Gautam Gambhir's Stern 'Masala' Taunt At 'Ex-Cricketers'
KL Rahul has been subjected to extreme criticism over the last few months, particularly from Venkatesh Prasad.
Touted as one of the finest batters in Indian cricket at present, KL Rahul hasn't had things going his way for a long time. The opening batter lost his place in the Indian Test team during the Australia series and question marks remain over his place in the team in other formats too. Over the last few months, Rahul has also seen himself being severely criticised by a few former players, especially Venkatesh Prasad. When Gautam Gambhir was asked if Rahul will be ‘under pressure' at the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, he brushed aside the talk.
Gambhir, who is Rahul's mentor at his franchise Lucknow Super Giants, doesn't feel the player would be under any kind of pressure as he has done wonders in the T20 league over the last few years.
"What kind of pressure? Last time we (Lucknow Super Giants) finished at No. 3 and it was a tough fight between RR and LSG. Obviously, only one team can lift the trophy. And Gujarat won the IPL, they played excellent cricket last season. And if you take a look at the performance of Lucknow in their debut season, they finished 3rd only because of the NRR. If you finish 2nd in IPL, you get 2 chances at the playoffs," Gambhir told SportsTak.
"As far as KL Rahul is concerned, I don't think he is under any kind of pressure. International cricket and IPL are different from each other. If you don't perform in international cricket despite scoring 1000 runs in IPL, you will still have to deal with criticism. And that's international cricket for you. After all, only 15 players get a chance to play for India. In IPL, more than 150 players get selected. Thus, you should not compare these two (IPL and international cricket)." Gambhir explained.
Further hailing the batting prowess of Rahul, Gambhir said that the Karnataka lad is the kind of batter who has 4-5 centuries to his name in the IPL. Hence, there's no need to focus on the criticism he is getting as ex-cricketers need some 'masala' to remain active.
"How Rahul has fared in the IPL, he has 4-5 centuries in the tournament. And you are talking about a player who has already slammed 4-5 centuries. Even last season he scored a century against Mumbai Indians. We have so many people here. Sometimes ex-cricketers need some masala to remain active. So that's why you criticise people. According to me, the kind of player KL is, he won't be under any kind of pressure. You can't win a tournament with one player. The 25 players who are inside the dressing room help you win the tournament," Gambhir asserted.