By: Shubham Ghosh
With KL Rahul failing to make use of his fast slipping lifeline in Test cricket by scoring not many runs, the mercury is only heading north in India’s cricketing fraternity.
Former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad, who hails from the southern state of Karnataka, which is also Rahul’s home state, has been quite vocal on social media over Rahul’s continuous failure with the bat and yet getting opportunities. And now, he has hit back at former India Test opener Aakash Chopra over a controversial remark targeting him over the Rahul issue.
The 45-year-old Chopra came up with a YouTube video on Rahul and towards the end of it, he advised Prasad to stay calm and not peddle ‘agendas’ if there are any or highlight statistics that suit his thoughts.
“I am not saying KL Rahul will become like Rohit Sharma but I humbly request you to stay calm. If there are any agendas, let’s not peddle them. Let’s talk about the numbers that are actually there and not those that suit your thoughts,” Chopra said.
The remarks did not go down well with Prasad, 53, who took on Chopra on social media and called the video “vile”.
“So my friend Aakash Chopra after making a vile video on YouTube this morning where he calls me an agenda peddle, conveniently and cleverly misquotes me, removes Mayank’s average of 70 at home, wants to gag views which are not in line with what he believes but wanted Rohit out,” the former fast bowler, who represented India in 33 Tests, said in a series of tweets.
“I have no agenda against any player, maybe there are others who have. Difference of opinion is fine but calling contrary views as apna personal agenda and Twitter par mat laayein is funny for @cricketaakash, considering he has made a great career by airing his views. I have nothing against KL or any other player, my voice has been against unfair selection and different yardsticks for performers. Be it Sarfaraz or Kuldeep, have voiced based on merit. But it was disappointing to see Aakash calling it personal agenda.
“This is what Aakash had aired when Rohit was 24 with 4 yrs in international cross. He can use sarcasm for Rohit at 24, and I cannot point out underperforming Rahul at 31 with 8 years in International cricket. Yeh bhi sahi hai.
“And the argument that we should not criticise a player in an ongoing match personally doesn’t make sense to me. That doesn’t affect the players performance. Most players don’t read views even after the match and no player can read in between match as phones are deposited,” Prasad added.
“I admire Aakash for the hardwork he puts on his YouTube channel but calling a different view point as agenda because it doesn’t suit his narrative is poor. There is no bitterness between us and since his video was in public domain wanted to put my point out here. Best wishes,” he continued.
Rahul has been retained in the India squad for the third and fourth Tests against Australia but has been stripped of the national team’s vice captaincy. It is to be seen whether he gets to play the two matches.