Cardiff, May 28: KL Rahul seems to have put to rest the debate over who could be Team India's number four batsman in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Presenting his contention for the much-debated slot in the Indian batting line-up, the top-order batsman slammed a brilliant century against Bangladesh in the warm-up game against Bangladesh at Sofia Gardens in Cardiff.
The right-handed batsman from Karnataka, who is picked in the side as a back-up opener, constructed his innings well after walking into the middle in the 14th over. He slammed his ton off 94 deliveries.
The stylish batsman, who was second highest run-getter in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019, notched up his half-century off 45 deliveries. The talented batsman took his time to settle into the middle after openers Shikhar Dhawan (1) and Rohit Sharma 19.
The way Rahul welcomed Shakib-al-Hasan with a maximum over midwicket the moment opposition captain introduced the senior leg-spinner proved the cricketer had found his mojo by then.
@klrahul11 has shunted Vijay Shankar out of the no.4 slot clearly. Whether Shankar can get no.6 slot in first match depends on whether team management believes playing Jadhav is risk-free as also the conditions at Southampton on June 5— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) May 28, 2019
Rahul initially played with caution and dealt in ones and twos till Virat Kohli was present into the middle. After Kohli was clean bowled by Mohammed Saifuddin for 47, Rahul took the initiative of scoring aggressively. He took 45 deliveries to get to his half-century.
With his performance in the warm-up game, Rahul looks to have cemented his position at No. 4 because Vijay Shankar - who was slated to be the No. 4 batsman - failed to make any impact against Bangladesh.
In terms of pure talent there was never any doubt about who India's number four should be: KL Rahul is clearly the best of the lot; this innings is yet again underlining that. For him the challenge is about converting that ability into consistent performances. #CWC19— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) May 28, 2019
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder was dismissed for 2 as he knicked the slightly moving delivery from Rubel Hossain. Playing his first game in England after missing the first practice game, Shankar seemed struggling to acclimatise with the English conditions. Rahul provided MS Dhoni the time to settle down into the middle before the veteran cricketer could explode and notch up a half-century as well.
Just stumbled on an earth shattering CricViz stat on Mahendra Singh Dhoni. When playing defensively in ODIs he gets out once every 184 balls. That’s once in more than 30 overs!— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) May 28, 2019
This aspect of his batting should come handy in this WC.👍#ICCWC2019 #starsportsindia
With his brilliant knock in Cardiff, Rahul seems to have convinced the team management that he could be the potential solution to the No. 4 debate that has been baffling them for quite some time.
"I think (KL) Rahul will be the certain No. 4 option when India plays South Africa in their opening game on June 5," said former India cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar in the commentary box.
He was dismissed for 108 (99 balls) as he was cleaned up by Sabbir Rahman in the 44th over while attempting a slog sweep but missed it completely. He walked off the field to a standing ovation. His inning was studded with 12 fours and four sixes.