India vs Australia: ‘Don’t think he is unknown anymore,’ KL Rahul reveals Team India have a plan set for young Australia batsman
Unlike the tour in 2018/19, Australia will have a full-strength squad when Team India comes in to face them in 2020. The likes of David Warner and Steve Smith will be a part of the playing 11 during the series in 2020. They missed the 2018/19 contest due to a ball tampering ban. Their inclusion will massively strengthen the Aussies as they are one of the most consistent batsmen in world cricket. On top of that, another Aussie batter has cemented his position in the team during recent years.
Marnus Labuschagne has been a revelation in Test cricket since his debut in 2018 against Pakistan. He has played 14 Tests for Australia while scoring 1459 runs at an impressive average of 63.43. He will be one of the main targets for Indian bowlers when the series kicks off on December 17.
Talking about the Australian team, KL Rahul was all praise for Labuschagne but refused to call him an unknown entity.
“I don’t think he is unknown anymore. He is in the top 5 and he has been getting a lot of runs in the last 12-15 months or before the COVID in the games that he played. He has been really consistent for his side.
“We have watched how Marnus played and fingers crossed hopefully, he won’t score that many runs against us. We will have a plan set, we have a top quality bowling attack so it will be a good challenge for him and our bowlers as well.”
The tag of being a power-hitter is quite sought after in international cricket but Rahul has no qualms admitting that he does not fit the bill and neither does he crave for it.
Known for his classical batting, Rahul said that even if he has to score at a high strike-rate of 160 to 170, he can do it minus the blitzkrieg.
“I wouldn’t call my batting power-hitting, that’s something I honestly feel like I have not been able to do or not what I am blessed with,” Rahul said on the eve of the white-ball series against Australia starting with the first ODI on Friday.
“I am blessed with certain skills and I try and play the role I feel the team requires me to play at that particular moment. If that means scoring runs at 160-170 strike rate, I try to do that to the best of my ability and if it’s the other way around, I will try to do that,” he added.
He hasn’t played 50-over cricket regularly for India save for the past one year and is happy that he is in a situation where he has been in good form as far as white-ball cricket is concerned.
“....I have never got a long run like this. So yeah, it feels good that I am contributing to team’s win and playing my role pretty well. Happy that I can put up consistent performances.”On a lighter note, Rahul said he has forgotten that during the last ODI series in New Zealand, he got a hundred.
“...I have actually forgotten the last innings I played and scored a hundred in New Zealand (century in Mount Mangnui in February),” he said.
“...it’s a fresh start for everybody and like I said its important for us as a team to start well and enjoy being out there in the middle.”
Rahul also feels that his IPL teammate Glenn Maxwell is equally dangerous, terming him a great team man.
“Yes of course, he (Maxwell) will (be dangerous). That’s one of the reasons why we picked him in our IPL franchise because he is a quality player.
“He is a gun fielder, he is always there to support his teammates. He will be eager to get out in Australian colours and perform for his country as well.”
(with PTI inputs)