The Chinnaswamy audience knows how to back a local lad and on Sunday, in the series decider between India and Australia it showered love upon Karanataka batsman KL Rahul.
Kuldeep Yadav had beaten a charging Steve Smith, but the ball skidded away off the pad and the keeper had no chance. However, some sections of the crowd started chanting “Dhoni-Dhoni!” – now a routine occurrence when an Indian keeper makes an error. However, in Bengaluru things went differently. A section of the crowd immediately responded with chants of ‘Rahul! Rahul!’ and skipper Virat Kohli also pointed towards the Indian keeper to egg that section of the crowd on.
KL Rahul misses the ball
— Vinesh Prabhu (@vlp1994) January 14, 2020
Rahul’s significant improvement with the gloves in the second ODI had sparked a buzz on social media and among experts whether he could be a long-term option as a wicketkeeper-batsman to boost the balance of the side.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra compared Rahul’s skills with those of former Indian captain Rahul Dravid (who also kept wickets) and said that Rahul is a better wicketkeeper, than Dravid was in his playing days.
“He is a better keeper than what Dravid was but I would not want him to keep on a regular basis. Keeping takes a toll. He can’t be keeping for 50 overs and then batting higher up the order,” Chopra told PTI ahead of the series decider here on Sunday.
Even during India’s first match of the ODI series at Wankhede Stadium, the crowd broke into chants of ‘Dhoni, Dhoni’ when stand-in keeper KL Rahul missed a simple catch. Rishabh Pant, who played in the first match of the series but missed the next two after being hit on the head by a delivery, has had to deal with the chants since he replaced the former captain in the squad.
The Indian cricket board recently omitted Dhoni from the list of 27 centrally contracted players, for the period from October 2019 to September 2020. Here’s why that wasn’t unexpected and doesn’t mean Dhoni’s career in limited-overs cricket is finished just yet.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines