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TV anchor mocked for mistaking KL Rahul for Congress politician

KL Rahul, Rahul Gandhi, India, Indian Cricket Team, Team India, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli,

An Indian television host was trolled on Twitter after he mistook the vice-captain of the national cricket team, KL Rahul, to be Congress politician Rahul Gandhi. The TV anchor’s blunder came on Monday, shortly after India skipper Rohit Sharma announced that his deputy KL Rahul will open the innings at the T20 World Cup in Australia. Rohit Sharma’s confirmation ended weeks of speculation about the opening role in the Indian cricket team for the mega event Down Under, especially after support for talismanic batter Virat Kohli grew after his whirlwind hundred against Afghanistan during the recent Asia Cup.

Rohit Sharma’s declaration became a subject of debate both on social media and among former cricketers. The frenzy over the issue, impacted a host of a program on a Hindi channel so much so that he got confused and mistook KL Rahul for Rahul Gandhi on national television.

“Bharatiya team ke kaptaan Rohit Sharma ne kaha ki T20 World Cup mein open karenge Rahul Gandhi. Virat Kohli ko bhi kai match mein pen karna pad sakta hai,” (Captain of the Indian team Rohit Sharma has said that Rahul Gandhi will open for India at T20 World Cup. Virat Kohli too may have to perform that role is some games) the anchor of news channel India TV said, the footage of which went instantly viral on social media.

Many netizens then made fun of the anchor on Twitter.

The topic of Virat Kohli joining captain Rohit Sharma at the top of India’s batting order had hogged headlines ever since India failed to defend the Asia Cup title in the UAE. Many former cricketers too shared their opinions on the matter. But Rohit Sharma finally ended the speculation this week.

“Rahul will open the batting in the World Cup. We do not want to experiment with that position a lot. Sometimes, his performance goes quite unnoticed but we are very clear [on] what Rahul brings to the table. He is a quality player and his presence at the top is very crucial for us,” Rohit Sharma said in a press conference on Monday.

“Virat is our third opener and he will open in some of the games. In the last match of the Asia Cup, we were happy with the way he played [as an opener]. Since we have not taken a third opener…, Virat opens for his franchise in the IPL and he has done really well, so he is a definite option for us. It is always nice to have options and flexibility. You want the players to be in best shape batting at any position.”

Before Rohit Sharma’s statement about KL Rahul’s position in the batting order, former India opener Gautam Gambhir had thrown his weight behind the Karnataka batter.

“You know what happens in India? The moment someone starts doing very well -for example, when Virat Kohli scored a hundred in the last game, we all start forgetting what Rahul and Rohit have done over a long period of time,” Gautam Gambhir said on Star Sports.

“When you talk about Kohli opening the batting, imagine what happens to KL Rahul? Imagine the amount of insecurity he must be feeling. Imagine if he gets a low score in the first game, there will be another debate on whether Kohli should open in the next game,” he added.

“You don’t want your top class players in that position, especially KL Rahul who has probably got more ability than Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli. Imagine KL Rahul going into the World Cup thinking, ‘what if I don’t score runs against Pakistan? What if I get replaced by Virat Kohli?’ You dont’ want that,” Gautam Gambhir elaborated.

“We shouldn’t entertain that question. Think from India’s point of view. Think from KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma’s point of view. Well, Rohit is the captain right now. Imagine if he was not the captain, what would he have felt? Everything falls down on KL Rahul. We should start thinking about how India can flourish, rather than certain individuals,” Gambhir concluded.

Similar views were shared by Australian great Matthew Hayden who said that India should not tinker much with their batting order before backing Virat Kohli to bat at the No.3 position because he has scored most of his runs there and not as an opening batsman.

“And this great debate around Virat batting up, GG (Gambhir) and I have already had this over the last couple of days, there’s no way that he has to open the batting, he has to bat at number 3, simple as that. And again, it’s another one of those things that you don’t want to let the door open the discussion on this,” Matthew Hayden said at the same event.

“You don’t want to have a doubt, you don’t want to have KL Rahul in the masterful form that he’s been in of late and Rohit Sharma who is captain of the team thinking ‘I’ve got to kind of watch my spot here that you know I’m an opening batsmen and my job is to play with freedom’ and unfortunately, when you start having these debates and you start thinking ‘oh maybe he, for his game, it should be him opening’, I’m sure he wouldn’t want to entertain that and put pressure. The one thing that you want to alleviate in the World Cup is the pressure. Just let the batting order rely on its own form and Virat Kohli can handle the situation. He’s a world class player, he can bat at three and he should bat at three in my opinion,” Hayden signed off.