IND vs SL: Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has shared that Team India’s batters struggled a bit in their run chase in the second ODI against Sri Lanka before KL Rahul helped them win the game. The visitors were bowled out for 215 after opting to bat first at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday, January 12. The hosts chased down the target with four wickets and 40 deliveries in hand to seal the three-match series before the final game as well. While reviewing the match in a video shared on his YouTube, Chopra said:

“The batting disappointed slightly. The batting was amazing in the first match and we felt the bowling could have been better. The bowling came good in the second match but the batting struggled a little under lights. I expected an easy run chase, that we will chase with two or three wickets down, but that did not happen.”

The veteran also added that India’s top-order batters failed to contribute which wasn’t expected as well. India openers Rohit Sharma (17) and Shubman Gill (21) added 33 runs in the first five overs before both were dismissed within the space of four balls. While the in-form Virat Kohli managed only four runs, Shreyas Iyer’s (28) dismissal left India struggling at 86/4 as well. However, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya resurrected the chase and they eventually won too.

“He has all the gears” – Aakash Chopra on KL Rahul

"He has all the gears" - Aakash Chopra on KL Rahul
“He has all the gears” – Aakash Chopra on KL Rahul

Aakash Chopra said: “I felt it would be extremely easy for Rohit Sharma – chasing only 215 against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens, but that did not happen. Wickets fell regularly. First Rohit got out, then Gill after him, and then Kohli. The heart started beating slightly fast when Shreyas Iyer got out. India were 62/3 and then 86/4. Then the vice-captain and the former vice-captain – Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul – joined hands, and until Hardik was there it seemed it had become a one-sided match.”

He also applauded KL Rahul for keeping the team management’s faith intact as they decided to play him ahead of Suryakumar Yadav. The veteran also added that Rahul showcased multiple facets of his game in the last two matches as well. Rahul scored an unbeaten 64 off 103 with six fours. Apart from his 75-run fifth-wicket partnership with Pandya, he stitched 30 and 28 runs with Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav respectively to reach the finish line.

“Then Hardik got out and then Axar, but KL Rahul was present. That is the whole point. Our excitement level goes so high because SKY (Suryakumar Yadav) is doing so well, but if you see KL Rahul’s numbers for the last one year, he is regularly doing well. You won the match because KL Rahul remained unbeaten till the end. He scored 64 runs. Whatever type of cricket you ask him to play, he plays that way. He played at a strike rate of 150 in the last match and a strike rate of 62 in this match. He has all the gears,” Aakash Chopra concluded.

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