'Everybody said skipper you made the worst decision': KL Rahul's deadpan response to Mark Waugh's 'workload' question
India's series against Australia was played in scorching conditions in Mohali, Indore and Rajkot.
India have played ODI cricket in subcontinental conditions for nearly two months in the run-up to the World Cup and that has meant dealing with scorching heat, when not waiting out the rain during a match. Their most recent series against Australia, which concluded on Wednesday, was played in Mohali, Indore and Rajkot, all places where conditions were as hot as it gets.
KL Rahul had been in the thick action. Not only was he captain of the team in the first two matches, which they won and sealed the series, but he was also the wicketkeeper and spent a number of hours in the middle with the bat. Rahul was asked by Australia great Mark Waugh about he dealt with the workload in that heat. “What about the workload personally, you've got to keep wickets, you have got to bat at the top of the order or at No.4 in these conditions. I felt sorry for you in Mohali. I just don't know how you do it. Is it hard to cope with all that in the heat?” Waugh, who is part of the commentary panel for the series, asked Rahul in a post-match interview that was aired by the host broadcasters.
“I've come back really fresh, I've had a lot of juice in me so no complaints on that front,” said Rahul about he was right then. He then admitted that while he had expected conditions to be easier than it was in Colombo, where India played and won the Asia Cup before the series against Australia, it was tougher than he thought it would be.
“It has been really challenging physically. The weather and conditions in Colombo were what we thought would be the worst we could get but then we turned up in Mohali... I said this after that game as well, I said in the huddle ‘We’ve come from Colombo, this can't be worse.' It is Mohali, it must be pleasant. Three overs later, when Mitch Marsh got out everybody looked at each other and said skip, you've made the worst decision by opting to bat. It is a good challenge that we get used to it because we will have similar conditions to deal with in the World Cup,” he said.
'All we have done all our lives is play cricket'
Rahul has been in sensational form since his return to the team during the Asia Cup after a lengthy injury break. He scored an unbeaten century on his first game back with the Indian team against Pakistan and has since scored two half-centuries in the last three games. The latest of those was also Rahul's fastest ODI half-century. He said that he got time to think about his game during the injury break.
“When you are away from the game for that long you get a lot of time to reflect on yourself, on your batting and technique. All we have done all our lives is play cricket so there is nothing else to think about, nothing keeps you busy. After you finish training we are at home thinking about cricket and how we can get better the time I spent at home helped me understand how I can play my role better. You walk in after a long period with no baggage and you try to enjoy yourself and that is what I have done. Happy that I could get a few good knocks, does a world of good for the confidence,” said Rahul.
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