KL Rahul has been going through the best phase of his cricket career as the Kings XI Punjab skipper has been named the vice-captain of Indian team while being selected for the Test team despite some dismal performance in the longest format in recent past.
It is understood that his performance at the ongoing IPL 2020, where he is currently orange cap holder with close to 600 runs, was the reason behind his selection. This quickly attracted former cricketer turned analyst Sanjay Manjrekar’s attention, who felt that selection in Test team based on white-ball cricket performance set a bad precedence for players in Ranji Trophy.
Manjrekar also shared Rahul’s average in Test matches in last five series for India — namely 7.1 in South Africa, 29.00 in England, 18 vs West Indies at home, 10.7 in Australia, and 25.4 in West Indies.
Former Indian cricketer and BCCI chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth, however, wasn’t pleased with Manjrekar and said the former Mumbai cricketer is talking rubbish and don’t have anything to do but question KL Rahul.
“Leave Sanjay Manjrekar alone, he doesn’t have any other job,” Srikkanth said in his YouTube channel Cheeky Cheeka. “Questioning KL Rahul’s selection in Tests? He has played well in Tests. I won’t agree at all. Just because Sanjay wants to question something, I don’t think I’ll agree. You shouldn’t question something just to create a controversy. KL Rahul has done brilliantly in all formats. Go through his Test record.
“What Sanjay Manjrekar is talking is all rubbish. I’ll not agree.”
Srikkanth suggested that Rahul might have been inconsistent in the past but he has scored a century in Australia before and is comfortable against fast bowlers.
“He might have been inconsistent but the same KL Rahul made his debut in Australia and made a century. He’s a good player of fast bowling. Let’s understand, he’s a very good player of fast bowling,” he said.
Srikkanth further criticised Manjrekar of favouritism, saying he can’t think beyond Bombay.
“Sanjay Manjrekar cannot think beyond Bombay. That’s the problem. We are talking neutral. Manjrekar cannot think beyond Bombay. For people like Manjrekar, everything is Bombay, Bombay and Bombay. They have to think beyond Bombay,” he said.
Srikkanth further blamed commentator Harsha Bhogle of only favouring Mumbai cricketers while adding that he doesn’t make similar claims for Tamil Nadu cricketers like Dinesh Karthik and R Ashwin.
“I’ve seen a lot of people, Harsha Bhogle doesn’t know anything except Bombay. Problem is that they’re not neutral. We are talking about Suryakumar Yadav’s inclusion (in the limited-overs squads), am I talking about DK (Dinesh Karthik) and Ashwin (players from Srikkanth’s home state Tamil Nadu)? We’re not fighting for DK and Ashwin,” he said.