File photo of KL Rahul (left) and MS Dhoni.© AFP

The Indian cricket team, led by KL Rahul, defeated South Africa 2-1 in the ODI series that concluded on Thursday. India won the series-decider by a margin of 78 runs at Boland Park, Paarl. While speaking after the game, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar opined that KL Rahul’s instinct is equal to that of MS Dhoni. The cricket veteran made the comments while analysing the captaincy of the player during the series against South Africa. Rahul took some really good DRS (Decision Review System) calls from behind the stumps during the third ODI against the Proteas and Manjrekar was duly impressed with his performance.

“These days, when you see KL Rahul on the ground, he looks very relaxed and in a good mind space. He captained as expected. He looks comfortable in the leadership role. He has led a lot in the IPL, in a Test match in South Africa and in one-day matches as well. You can expect KL Rahul not to make any big mistake. He is an expert in DRS. His instinct is equal to that of MS Dhoni,” Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo.

After the end of ODI World Cup 2023, India hosted Australia for a five-match T20I series and won it with a 4-1 margin. What followed was a three-match T20I series against South Africa and that ended 1-1. Suryakumar Yadav led the Indian team in both the series.

“It seems like Indian cricket is running on autopilot mode. Suryakumar Yadav won as captain recently, KL Rahul now. Rohit Sharma has also won a lot of games for India. A lot of credit for the success must go to the players. Captaincy is good, but not game-changing. It’s the players who are doing really well,” Manjrekar added.

It is worth noting that senior players Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have not played any T20I game for India ever since the team’s exit from T20 World Cup 2022 in November.

Both the players alongside Jasprit Bumrah are out of action since the ODI World Cup 2023 final on November 19. All the three players will make a return in the two-match Test series against South Africa, starting December 26.

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