Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Following contrasting victories against arch-rivals Pakistan and minnows Netherlands, Team India look good to seal the semifinals spot. However, there are still chinks in the Men in Blue’s armour. Struggling opener KL Rahul seems one of those.

Rahul could score only four runs against Pakistan and managed only nine against Netherlands. Several cricket buffs are of the opinion to drop Rahul for the all-important clash against South Africa and replace him with explosive left-hander Rishabh Pant. However, as per many cricket experts, India should stick with Rahul at the top despite his successive failures. Here are the reasons…

Don’t tinker with a winning combination

Cricket is mostly a team game and the combined show from the players often wins you a match. One player backs the other with an effective partnership in batting or bowling in tandem. Moreover, in the middle of a mega event, chopping and changing big players can dent their confidence and seriously affect the balance of the team. Captain Cool Dhoni was also not in favour of tinkering with the winning combination in the middle of an ICC event. Skipper Rohit Sharma is most likely to follow the same template.

Form is temporary, class is permanent

KL Rahul is a class player and a proven customer. Dropping Rahul for failing in just two matches will not be a justice to the right-hander. He is a great batsman. He will certainly learn from his mistakes and come back strongly for the rest of the tournament. He has proved it many times in the past. Even the great Virat Kohli was criticized by fans for his poor form, but he came back strongly to prove his mettle. Kohli was able to come back to his form because of the team management’s confidence in him. Given the potential of Rahul, he should be given the same rope.