Following India's convincing six-wicket victory in the second Test against Australia in Delhi, head coach Rahul Dravid says that the team will continue to back under-fire opening batter KL Rahul. Dravid believes Rahul has the quality and class to come out of this rut.
Rahul in the three innings he has played in the series has managed just 38 runs at 12.66. He did not have a particularly good 2022 as well. He managed just one fifty in eight innings, scoring a total of 137 runs at 17.12.
"I think he needs to trust his processes. This is just a phase, he has been one of our most successful overseas openers. He’s got hundreds in South Africa and England, we’ll continue to back him," Dravid said after the match.
"I believe he has the quality and class to come out of this. It is great working with this unit, managing formats is the most difficult part. But there’s not a lot of technical coaching, just simple conversations and challenging them, and giving them a pat on the back when they do well."
Skipper Rohit Sharma too was posed with the same question at the post-match press conference. He too is of the same opinion as his head coach.
“Of late, there has been a lot of talk about his batting. For us, as team management, we always look at the potential of any individual, not just KL. I was asked in the past about a lot of players. If a guy has potential, he will get an extended run," the India skipper said.
"Not just KL. If you look at the couple of hundreds he got, especially at Lord's, batting on that damp pitch. Centurion was another win. Both came in India winning both games. That's the potential he has."
Speaking of what sort of conversation has been had with Rahul, the current vice-captain of the side, Rohit said, “Obviously, of late, there have been a lot of talks. But, from our side, it was clear that we want him to go out and play his game and do what he can do the best, that we have seen him do over the years," Rohit said.
“Of course, when you are playing on pitches like these, you need to find your method of scoring runs. As I said, different individuals are part of these teams and they will have different methods of scoring runs. Find your own methods of doing this. We are not going to look into what one individual is doing, but rather what the entire team is doing. This is an important series for us, a big one, and that's my thought on KL."
Dravid though believes Rohit has been unlucky to miss Tests of late due to injuries, he also feels that Team India are lucky to have someone of his calibre succeed Virat Kohli.
"I think he has been brilliant. He has the respect of the dressing room. He is one of those guys who has been there a long time. The kind of person who doesn’t speak a lot, but when he does they all listen. He deeply cares a lot about the dressing room and the players. We are very lucky to have Rohit take over the leadership from someone like Virat," the India head coach said.
Dravid also lauded the 114-run eighth wicket stand between Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin which he believed tilted the game in India's favour.
"This Test match moved up and down, but today morning it moved really quickly for us. I think it was the partnership between Axar and Ashwin that changed things. We wanted to chase something close to 200-225 and that partnership enabled us to get back, or we’d have been trailing," Dravid said.
"A bit of a downer to concede too many runs in the evening, I think we bowled probably wrong and were all over the place, and they came hard at us, but we course-corrected this morning. It was just brilliant then how the game moved."
With this win India have taken a 2-0 lead in the four-match series and have also retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with two games left. The next Test will be played in Indore, starting March 1.