Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who serves as the mentor for the Lucknow Super Giants, has lashed out at critics of KL Rahul, saying that former players need “masala” to remain active. Gambhir stated that Rahul is under no pressure and is a proven performer in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
KL Rahul faced fierce criticism on social media after a lean patch during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test series. However, Gambhir believes that international cricket and IPL are different things, and Rahul’s success in the latter should not be discounted.
“Even if you score 1,000 runs in the IPL, if you don’t perform in international cricket, you will still face criticism,” said Gambhir. “Only 15 players get a chance to play for India, whereas, in the IPL, more than 150 players get selected. You cannot compare these two.”
Rahul was dropped for the last two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after scoring 38 runs in the first two Tests. However, he played a match-winning knock in the first ODI of the 3-match series against Australia, scoring an unbeaten 75 in a tricky 189-run chase.
Gambhir also hoped the Lucknow Super Giants would do well under Rahul’s leadership in the upcoming IPL season. LSG finished third in IPL 2022 and will begin their campaign against Delhi Capitals on April 1.
“Only one team can lift the trophy,” said Gambhir. “And if you look at Lucknow’s performance in their debut season, they finished third only because of the NRR. If you finish second in IPL, you get two chances at the playoffs.”
Gambhir’s comments come as the IPL is set to kick off on April 1, with teams gearing up for the much-anticipated cricketing extravaganza.