KL Rahul had a horrendous start to his captaincy stint in international cricket as he lost all the four matches – one Test and three ODIs – in which he led Team India in their tour to South Africa last month.
Rahul was named the captain after the then regular skipper Virat Kohli was ruled out of the second Test against South Africa due to back spasms. However, he failed to inspire the team to a win as the visitors lost the match by seven wickets.January 23, 2022
The 29-year-old led India in all the three ODIs of the three-match series in the Rainbow nation but the visitors were humbled by the Proteas in every game as they suffered a cleansweep in the 50-over format.
While Rahul was in South Africa, he received positive news from the Indian Premier League (IPL). One of the two new franchises, Lucknow Super Giants, appointed him as their captain for the 15th edition of the franchise-based T20 league.
Former India world cup-winning batter Gautam Gambhir was also roped in by the Lucknow-based franchise as their mentor for the upcoming IPL season.February 1, 2022
Speaking on KL Rahul’s skills as a leader, Gambhir said that people should not judge him based on just four games as the opening batter has all the attributes required to be a successful captain.
“Sometimes we start relating someone just with performances and the results. It's too early to judge someone by just captaining 4 game,” Gambhir was quoted as saying by India Today.
“Whatever I have seen of KL, he has a great, great future ahead not only as a batter but as a leader as well. Because that is a quality that very few people have - being calm and composed. When you start doing that, that reflects on the entire team as well,” he added.
These comments were not received well by fans as they pointed out Gambhir’s double standards while analysing an individual.
26/12/2014 - 26/12/2021 pic.twitter.com/lGO0L1Ncn8— K L Rahul (@klrahul11) December 30, 2021
Few cricket fans took to Twitter to recall how Gambhir had labelled KL Rahul as a clueless captain when under his leadership, India were losing in South Africa but now that he’s the mentor of Rahul’s IPL franchise, the left-handed batter is all praise for his skipper.
While on commentary at star sports, "I don't see any spark in KL as captain"
Gambhir (in India Today) said "KL Rahul has a great future, as a batter & as a captain - he is calm, composed - when you have that kind of leader it will reflect the whole team
Bolne de mentor hai ab sidha toh bolega nahi ki acha nahi hai sab ne dekha hai punjab ka hal— Mukul Ramnani (@MukulRamnani) February 1, 2022
GG Became Mentor of Lucknow so obviously he praise him— Baap_se_panga_nai (@bjp_mkb) February 1, 2022
Bolne de bechare ko mentor h.
Ab saaf saaf to nhi bol skta na ki kl acha nhi h
Last Night he said, No Grooming in Internationals— Rishabh VIJAY️ (@VJ__416) February 1, 2022
KL Rahul, who previously led Punjab Kings in the IPL, had captained in two IPL seasons but has never managed to reach the playoffs.
It will be interesting to see whether he can turn his fortunes around as a skipper this season with the likes of Gambhir and Andy Flower in the setup to help him out with strategies.