R Ashwin Compares 'Phenomenal' KL Rahul to Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni

image-lfjag8c7KL Rahul scored a match-winning fifty in first ODI [AP Photos]

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin recently expressed his views on the intricacies of batting at No.5 in ODI cricket. According to him, this is one of the toughest positions to bat in, as very few cricketers have made a mark for themselves in this role.

The veteran bowler cited the examples of Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni as two players who were able to excel at batting in this position, with Dhoni often batting at No.6 instead. However, he also had praise for Indian batsman KL Rahul, who has taken up this challenging position in the middle order despite being an opening batsman by nature.

"Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni were the only two guys who batted mostly at 5 in ODIs and made a mark for themselves. Dhoni mostly batted at 6 though. For Australia, it was Michael Bevan. It is not at all easy to bat in that number in ODIs," Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.

The World No. 1 Test bowler lauded Rahul's impressive performance in the No.5 position, describing it as a "box-office" performance. The Bangalore based batter has scored 742 runs in 18 innings with an average of 53 and a strike rate of nearly 100 while batting in this position.

“KL Rahul is doing a very difficult role with ease. He has been a proper box-office in ODIs. He has got phenomenal numbers batting at No.5. GO and search if you can find anyone even close to him in terms of numbers in ODIs,” added the off-spinner.

Furthermore, the 36-year-old believes that after Rahul's knock in Mumbai, people were quick to exclaim that he is 'back', without considering his consistent contributions in the past. He further emphasized that the elegant right-hander has been performing consistently in ODI cricket, and has not been 'away' at any point.

The Chennai-born cricketer criticized the tendency to put players down one day and celebrate them the next, without assessing their performance objectively. According to him, it is crucial to recognize a player's performance and not back the wrong people, or else it could result in poor selection decisions.