‘I think that question is answered’: KL Rahul's strong response to critics ‘concerned about his fitness’
Apart from batting and wicketkeeping, Rahul has also been given the responsibility to lead the side in the first two matches against Australia.
A week after producing a superb show in the Asia Cup, the Men In Blue maintained the winning momentum as they defeated Australia by five wickets in the first of the three ODIs, which was played in Mohali on Friday. Batting first Australia piled a stiff 276/10 on the board, which featured a 53-ball 52 by David Warner.
In response, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill stitched 142 runs in 21.4 overs to lay a solid foundation for India. KL Rahul, India's stand-in skipper, along with Suryakumar Yadav then kept things under control as both slammed their half-centuries. Suryakumar was dismissed for 50(49), while KL Rahul returned unbeaten for 58(63), helping India complete the chase in 48.4 overs.
Ever since returning from an injury, which sidelined him for over four months, Rahul has been in terrific form. Making a comeback in the Asia Cup, Rahul took just match to stamp his authority that too in a high-octane clash against Pakistan. He stitched a 233-run stand with Virat Kohli, both the batters slamming unbeaten tons.
Also Read | 'India may drop the World Cup...': Mohammad Kaif's cautions Dravid, Rohit with blazing post despite win in 1st AUS ODI
Not only he has been impressive with the bat, but his work behind the stumps has been equally good. However, there have been question marks raised over his fitness, especially when he was named in the Asia Cup squad but was only available from the Super 4 stage. Addressing the same, Rahul gave a strong response to the critics “concerned about his fitness."
“Everyone has seen me playing in the Asia Cup, I played all the games in the Super Fours. I kept 50 overs, batted and scored runs as well, so I think that question is answered for everyone who were concerned about my fitness. Hopefully, I'll carry on in the same way with a big two months coming up with the World Cup and the Australia series,” the wicketkeeper-batter was quoted as saying in a report by India Today.
'I knew I'd have to keep wickets'
Rahul also mentioned that he was clear about his additional role, but was ready for the challenge. “I knew when I would return to the side, I'd have to keep wickets and bat. The physical challenges are a lot more compared to when I am only batting. I knew this, so I worked very hard on my fitness. As cricketers, we know the challenges that we will have to face on the field and we try to replicate that at training and practice sessions," he said.
Apart from batting and wicketkeeping, Rahul has also been given the responsibility to lead the side in the first two matches against Australia. Rahul believes it reflects the faith the management has shown on him. “They keep giving me more responsibilities, which shows that they believe and trust in my abilities. It gives me a lot of confidence and I also enjoy taking responsibility. It makes life and playing cricket a lot more fun,” he said.