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Gautam Gambhir on KL Rahul’s poor form: ‘It should hurt you’

Gambhir said LSG skipper KL Rahul can look at IPL 2023 as a launch pad to reinvent himself.

KL Rahul at the pre-match press conference. AFP

KL Rahul’s recent dismal run in Test cricket has led to a spate of criticism and the opener being dropped as the vice-captain of the Indian Test side as well as the playing XI for the third and fourth Border-Gavaskar Tests. The 30-year batter was seen at the jersey launch of his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Lucknow Super Giants recently. The India opener will have to prove his worth once again to come back to the Indian side. Gautam Gambhir who is the mentor of LSG in the cash-rich league told Sports Tak in a recent interview that getting dropped must have “hurt” KL Rahul.

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“These things happen to every cricketer. Name one cricketer who has scored runs with the same consistency from the start to the finish. I believe these things are good for you. These things should hurt you. If it has hurt him (KL Rahul) then it is a great thing for us. Jab aap kisi aur ko khelte hue dekhte hai, jab aap paani pila rahe hote hai (When you see others playing and you are running around as the 12th man with water) it should hurt you,” Gambhir told Sports Tak.

He also spoke favourably of KL Rahul’s performance in the last edition of the IPL. According to Gambhir, the LSG skipper can look at the tournament as a launch pad to reinvent himself.

“You don’t need to prove it to anybody when you are leading a franchise. You have scored four-five hundreds in the IPL. But if you are not in the T20 side, not in the playing XI of the Test team, then you can look at the Indian Premier League as an isolated tournament or as an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Can you bat the way the team wants you to and score the way entire nation expects of you? Scoring more than 600 runs in an IPL season is not important. Score 400 but those should impact your team’s performance,” the former India opener added.

Watch: PM Modi presents Rohit Sharma with Test cap in Ahmedabad

In the IPL, KL Rahul has scored 3889 runs in 109 fixtures at an average of 48.01. The Lucknow Super Giants skipper led his team to the eliminator in the last season of the high-stakes tournament, but lost out to Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.

KL Rahul is a part of the Indian ODI squad against Australia and is expected to be part of the playing XI in the first game on 17 March.

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