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Sunil Gavaskar Likens KL Rahul’s Playing Style To This 74-Year Old Indian Great

Tanmay Roy
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Sunil Gavaskar Likens KL Rahul's Playing Style To This 74-Year Old Indian Great

Sunil Gavaskar, among many, is keenly impressed by KL Rahul‘s 17th international hundred in the recently concluded first Test match between South Africa and India at the SuperSport Park.

In addition to just laying emphasis on a three-figure number, Gavaskar wholeheartedly praised Rahul’s batting style, quick adaptability, ability to shift gears, and most importantly, bailing the team out of trouble. Rahul, who scored 101 (137) on Day 2 to become the first visiting batter to register a couple of tons in Centurion Tests, has doubtlessly upped his reputation when it comes to playing away from home.

Calling this series for Star Sports Network, Gavaskar discussed Rahul’s way of playing with anchor Tanay Tiwari before comparing him with 74-year old Gundappa Viswanath.

“Kabhi kabhi aapko yeh bhi dekhna chahiye ki kya woh besides the ball khel rahe hain. Kyunki besides the ball ki baat kya hoti hai ki aap behind the ball jaate hain toh aap apne jo kalayiyaan hain usko aap neeche nahi daal sakte kyunki aap neeche daalte hain toh aapke chehre par lag jaayegi. Toh Gundappa Viswanath sabse behtareen player the besides the ball. Toh Gundappa Viswanath ki height alag thi, KL Rahul ki height alag hai, par usi tareeke se wo khel rahe the [Sometimes you have to see if he is playing besides the ball or not. Because when we talk about besides the ball, say if you go behind the ball, then your wrists can’t go under the ball, otherwise it will hit the grille of your helmet. Instead, if you play besides the ball, then the ball can pass beneath your wrists. So, Gundappa Viswanath was the best player of besides the ball. Now, his height is less as compared to KL Rahul’s, but the latter is playing in the same style as Viswanath],” Gavaskar told Star Sports.

 

Viswanath’s brother-in-law, Sunil Gavaskar has always been appreciable of his 1983 World Cup-winning teammate’s unmatched batting fluency whilst rejoicing his great innings from the past. For the unversed, a parallel between Viswanath and Rahul was drawn after the India-Australia ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 match as well.

Sunil Gavaskar Made Irfan Pathan’s Year Whilst Discussing KL Rahul In Centurion

Besides Gavaskar’s strategic take on Rahul’s impeccable knock earlier in the day, former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan had made a deep dive into his technique, style of defense and what he did differently from others that young cricketers can watch and learn on the day of the match.

Much like Gavaskar, even Pathan had acknowledged Rahul’s decision to play head-down towards the ball. He also mentioned that Rahul allowed the ball to reach him rather than rushing towards it.

However, what impressed Gavaskar the most was Pathan noticing how the 31-year old player held his bat at a slanting angle and not right-angled to the ground. This resulted in an additional split second for the wicket-keeper batter every time the ball reached him. Hence, aiding in better judgement. Pathan was over the moon when the former captain praised him for an observation he hadn’t himself paid attention to.

Even though Gavaskar is wax lyrical about Rahul lately to the extent of rating this century as one of the best on foreign soil by an Indian batter, he had criticized the team management for preferring him over Ajinkya Rahane during India’s tour of Sri Lanka 2017.

About the author

Tanmay Roy

Tanmay Roy

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Tanmay Roy is a Tennis Journalist at The SportsRush, whose lifelong passion and zeal for the sport landed him this position. A writer with over 1000 articles under him, Tanmay fell in love with tennis in 2005 when Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final after a stunning three sets. Tanmay followed the likes of the Big Three - Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal from the mid-noughties to now. His interest was stronger than ever after the wonderful 2009 Wimbledon Final which saw Roger Federer win after a see-saw 5-set match. His favorite female tennis player is Serena Williams and Monica Seles. Tanmay's favorite match-up to date is Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick in the 2000s. If possible, the John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut first round match at the 2010 Wimbledon is the only match Tanmay would love to watch Live by going back in time. Of late, he is a huge fan of Jannik Sinner and believes the youngster has the potential to break every record.

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