Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has praised in-form KL Rahul and wondered why he has not been able to translate this into the red-ball format.

Rahul has been dropped from the Test squad but he has, in recent months, been in good touch internationally as well as in domestic cricket in the white-ball formats. While Virat Kohli has said there is an interesting selection headache for the position of the second opener when Rohit Sharma returns to the side, Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan are essentially fighting for one spot.

“Rahul is in unbelievable form. It amazes me every time I see Rahul bat, that, why didn’t he play the same way in Test cricket. With the kind of quality he posses, he is someone who can get you a 50-ball 100 in Test cricket as well. The kind of shots he has is superb,” Gambhir said during a post-match show for the broadcaster Star Sports.

Dhawan, making a comeback to the team after two months due to a knee injury, scrapped his way to a 30-ball-32 while Rahul struck a 32-ball 45 as India chased down a modest target of 143 in the second T20 against Sri Lanka in Indore on Tuesday.

White-ball vice-captain and opener Rohit Sharma is not playing this series as he has taken a short break.

Gambhir also said Shikhar Dhawan will benefit from the time he spent in the middle against Sri Lanka.

“Shikhar Dhawan looked rusty but it’s a good thing that he got some runs under his belt. It will help him when he walks out to bat in the next game. Had he got out early, the pressure would have been more,” Gambhir said.

When asked if playing for Delhi Capitals will also put Dhawan under so much pressure, Gambhir replied, “You can’t compare IPL to international cricket. When you’re playing for Delhi Capitals, you know there’s no one waiting for the opportunity, but when you’re playing for the country and you know there’s someone who’s actually can replace you, there’ll always be pressure. And today, it was shown who’s in better form,” he added.