KL Rahul needs to be way more consistent and work on his technical flaws with national team coaches, feels former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin. (More Cricket News)
The 57-year-old Azhar, whose elegant wrist work made him a cynosure of cricket fans, is a bit disappointed that a player of Rahul's talent isn't realising his full potential.
"I think consistency is the problem in KL Rahul's case. But I think there are coaches who should rectify his flaws. In my opinion, he is a good player, but consistency is missing in his game," Azharuddin told PTI in an exclusive interaction.
Rahul, who has had a string of poor scores since his international comeback, was bowled around his legs for a sedate 39 in the opening ODI against Sri Lanka in Guwahati on Tuesday.
"I think Rahul is getting out in a lot of manners. Primarily, it is not the good balls that are getting him out. It is poor shot selection first up that is causing problems," said Azhar, who believes that all senior players should take out time and play domestic cricket.
Limited over captain Rohit Sharma and superstar Virat Kohli were among runs in the opening ODI and Azharuddin feels that these two will be India's premier performers during the 50-over World Cup at the end of the year.
"Both are very good and classy players and they have done well in the past, too, as the records say. I do believe Kohli and Rohit will do fairly well in the World Cup. In ODI format, they have always been pretty consistent."
Having captained the Indian team in two phases and close to a decade between 1990 to 1999, Azharuddin has a fair idea about people with leadership acumen. Hardik Pandya, the new T20 skipper is one such player according to him.
"Hardik has looked good as a leader and seems that he can carry the team along. But he needs to be careful about his back as he had been out for a long time.
"India would need Hardik, the all-rounder and we can't afford to risk injuries. Hardik has got a young team and that's the way forward. To forge a winning combination, it will need strong coordination for the upcoming T20 series."
Indian selectors have copped a lot of flak of late and Azhar would ideally like his former teammate and chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma to clear the air about certain selections so that there is no ambiguity.
"Definitely, Chetan is supposed to be doing at least one or two press conferences and should tell that what is the way forward for the current Indian team," he was forthright.
He has now been the president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association for more than a year, but had his share of differences with former India players like Arshad Ayub and Shivlal Yadav with regards to running the administration.
"It has been good so far. We are fighting to revive the lost reputation of the Hyderabad Cricket Association. We have had a lot of work done (in terms of renovation) in the Stadium arena as well as dressing rooms.
"When I took charge, it was all in pathetic condition. We will be hosting our second international match in three months' time (vs New Zealand). We are very happy that the BCCI has recognized our hard work and matches are being allotted to us," Azharuddin said.
It must be mentioned BCCI awards matches to every centre as per its own devised rotation system and thus Hyderabad is hosting a T20 and ODI in a short span of time.