Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson said he wants KL Rahul to approach the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia next month with a “nothing to lose” mentality because that is how he bats best.

Throughout the Asia Cup and the ongoing home series against South Africa, Rahul’s strike rate came under scrutiny. As a result, Watson stated that Rahul must aim to be aggressive from the first ball of the World Cup in Australia in an interview with PTI.

He said, “KL Rahul is is one of my favourite batters. To me when he is batting at his best is when he is aggressive, he takes the game on and is not trying to control the game.”

“He has got that skill, when he is just reacting to the ball coming down, he has all the shots all around the ground against the best bowlers in the world. I love seeing him when he feels like he’s got nothing to lose, then he can even strike at 180 without taking too much risk. If he is able to do that (in Australia), there will be a lot of bowlers in trouble,” he added.

The injury to Jasprit Bumrah has put his participation at the World Cup in jeopardy. As a result, it leaves India’s pace-bowling department vulnerable. Watson also wants Mohammad Siraj to replace Bumrah if the latter is indeed found to be unfit for the World Cup.

He said, “India have certainly got the batting to do incredibly well in Australian conditions but the biggest question mark is around their fast bowling.”

“The spinners, Axar Patel and Yuzi Chahal, are as good as anyone in the world in all conditions but the fast bowling without Bumrah in particular, whether they can execute skills under pressure at the back end of the game. That is where teams will be trying to expose India.”

Cricket: Rahul Dravid ‘hopeful’ Jasprit Bumrah returns to full fitness for T20 World Cup

Siraj, who was called up as his replacement for the remaining two T20Is against South Africa, has played overall five T20I matches for India with his most recent match being against Sri Lanka in February this year.

“India need a bowler who can bowl in excess of 140kmph in the absence of Bumrah, said Watson.

“It is a genuine concern (lack of express pace), that is why Siraj will be a good option if Bumrah isn’t there. The pace at which he bowls and the skills he has got, swinging it away and pushing towards 150 kmph with the brand new ball and he can execute well in the end as well.”

“He provides that element that other Indian bowlers don’t necessarily have,” said the 41-year-old.

Virat Kohli, who was in sublime touch at the Asia Cup, where he scored 276 runs in five matches at an average of 92, including his first T20I century, also received backing from the Australian all-rounder for the World Cup.

“It’s awesome (that he’s back in form). The great thing is he was able to have some time off to be able to re-energise his batteries. Some of the shots he played against Australian quicks (in the recent series), you knew he was back to his best,” said Watson.