With his strong batting displays for Team India and Punjab Kings (PBKS), KL Rahul has long been touted as a future captain for the national team by many cricket fans. The PBKS skipper is currently on top of the Orange Cap race in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, with 528 runs from 12 games. But Rahul’s stupendous show with the bat has not been able to impact the fortunes of his team in a way that was expected. PBKS are currently in the 5th spot and will drop further down after Tuesday’s match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. The team’s chances of making the play-offs seem bleak as they will not only have to beat an in-form CSK in their final match but also hope that other top 4 contenders lose badly.
While Rahul has been a pillar of strength for his team with the bat in hand, former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja feels the 29-year-old lacks leadership qualities and doesn’t impact a match through his captaincy. Speaking to Cricbuzz, Jadeja said, “If you look at KL Rahul, he has been the captain of this team for the past two years and I never felt like he is a leader. Whenever this team plays good or bad, have you ever thought, were the changes from today done by KL Rahul or not?”
The 50-year-old explained that the Karnataka batsman hasn’t shown “intelligence” which is the most important factor to be a captain. He also stated that Rahul is too soft-spoken and can only adjust.
“The Indian captains are selected on their intelligence, which is the most important factor because they need to be a leader. So, I can’t see that aspect in KL Rahul so much. He is very soft-spoken, he adjusts”, he said.
“If he becomes the captain one day, then it’s a certainty he’ll last the longest because a guy ready to adjust can stay longer in that position. Someone who adjusts, stays for long.”
Jadeja also explained that captaining a team in the IPL is different to leading the Indian national team, as there are more things to manage.
“But someone with leadership quality has philosophy, something which is needed for India captaincy. There is a lot of difference between India captaincy and IPL captaincy. You have to manage more things there”, he stated.
“So, the leadership qualities needed for Team India captaincy, he somewhat lacks it”, he further added.
“If you look at his other version, not while playing but generally in the ground he has the calmness like MS Dhoni. There are good things too, but the biggest aspect is that you need to be a leader. People should be asking, ‘why is he doing this or that?’. But that never happens, as he has not taken any responsibility upon himself, and has let others run the team”, he said.
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