India captain Virat Kohli and batting coach Vikram Rathour lent their support to KL Rahul after the opener registered his third straight single-digit score during the third T20 International against England on Tuesday.

Rahul has scores of 1, 0 and 0 in the ongoing T20I series against England as Kohli and Rathour were asked after the third game whether this is a cause for concern.

“Well, I was going through a lean patch two games ago,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation. “He (Rahul) has been a champion player. He’ll continue to be one of our main batters along with Rohit Sharma at the top of the order. It’s a matter of five-six balls in this format.”

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Rathour, too, gave firm support to Rahul and said that the right-hander was “our best batsman” in the shortest format.

“Anybody can have a lean phase and KL has been our best batsman in T20 format. He is averaging 40 plus with a strike rate of 145 and three failures doesn’t change the fact that he is the best batsman we have in this format,” Rathour said in the press conference after the third T20I.

“This is the time when we need to support him and I am absolutely sure he will come back out of the lean phase.”

However, Rathour did agree that rustiness could be a reason for Rahul’s failures and all it could take is one good shot for him to get back into the groove.

“I agree, they do tend to get rusty when they are sitting out but the only thing we can do is to provide them practice. They are having a lot of net sessions and even in the middle (centre strips). That’s all they can do and we can just hope that one innings or one shot will help them get back in form.”

India have now lost two games batting first and according to Rathour the pitches on offer during the last three matches have been tricky.

“It is a difficult surface to assess what will be a good score and the bounce makes it tricky when you start batting. The ball stops and we saw some variable bounce. So you can’t assess how many runs will be a good score,” Rathour said.

“Every game we have played on different surfaces and as a team it is tough. We have had three games now and in the next one hopefully we can do better if we bat first.”

(With inputs from PTI)