Former Australian cricketer Shane Watson believes that India opener KL Rahul's attacking approach can take pressure off Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli at the top of the batting order as the Asia Cup approaches its conclusion and the ICC Men's T20 World Cup draws nearer.
Rahul has only played three T20Is this year all in the Asia Cup and is searching for touch and form before the all-important ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 next month.India has adopted an aggressive approach with its batting since its struggles at last year's edition of the Men's T20 World Cup, but Rahul hasn't been able to have a major impact.
He's scored 0, 36 and 28 in his three Asia Cup outings so far at a strike-rate of 106.67.However, the former all-rounder believes that among India's top three of Rohit, Kohli and Rahul, the latter could be the most potent in terms of strike rate.
"I just want him to be the best version of him. And the times where I've seen the best version of him is when he's really taking on the game," Watson said in the latest episode of The ICC Review."We've seen it a number of times in the IPL, a number of times for India as well.
When he finds his feet and knows what the conditions are, he really takes down the bowlers," he added.The 30-year-old Rahul, who recently came back into India's T20I team after an injury layoff, has come under criticism from some quarters for his slow starts.
But Watson believes that if he breaks the shackles, it will help Rohit and Kohli play their natural games."He's got an array of shots against the best bowlers in the world that no one can stop. When he becomes more of an accumulator, like he was at Punjab Kings and also for Lucknow Super Giants (in the IPL), he's slightly lower risk but still can play the big shots.
I believe he's better than that," the Australian said."He can score at a 150-160 strike-rate against the best bowlers in the world and that'd take a bit of pressure off Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as well. So for me, when KL Rahul is at his best, he's really taking the game on. He's not accumulating runs, he's just taking them on, from ball one. That's the skill he's got," he added.