KL Rahul says 1st session vs Australia in Dharamsala toughest he ever faced

KL Rahul, who hit his fifth 50 in six innings in the series against Australia cricket team, said the first session on Day 2 when Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were bowling, was the most difficult he has ever faced.

cricket Updated: Mar 26, 2017 20:12 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Dharamsala
India vs Australia,Ind vs Aus,KL Rahul
India cricket team's KL Rahul takes evasive measures against a sharp-bouncing ball during Day 2 of play of the fourth Test vs Australia cricket team in Dharamsala on Sunday.(AFP)

KL Rahul, who hit his fifth 50 in six innings against Australia in the fourth Test on Sunday, said the hostile spells bowled by Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in the first session on Day 2 was the toughest he has ever faced in his two-year career. (Dharamsala Test, Day 2 highlights)

“First session was the toughest session I have faced in Test cricket so far. Hazlewood and Cummins put the ball in the right areas and swung the ball, bowled with lot of pace and venom,” Rahul said. (Scorecard)

In a testing first session, Cummins and Hazlewood helped restrict India to just 64 runs in 28 overs. Rahul got a life on 10, edging a 145 kph out swinger off Cummins which Matt Renshaw dropped at first slip.

Rahul went on to make fifty and shared a 87-run stand with Cheteshwar Pujara (57) for the second wicket.

Read more | Nathan Lyon says Dharamsala pitch is very similar to wickets in Australia

There was hope the Karnataka batsman would convert it into a century but was undone by a short delivery from Cummins to be dismissed for 60. “Intent was right but the execution was horrible. But having batted out there in the middle for a long time, I thought I could have taken him on as there were no fielders at the back,” Rahul said.

Still having a good series

Despite missing out again, Rahul still averages 57 in the series.

Read more | ‘Long live wrist spinners’ as Shane Warne hails debutant Kuldeep Yadav

“However, it has not been a worst series for me. I got starts and enjoyed batting in the middle. A little disappointed I have not been able to convert the starts and get big runs for the team. Australia’s bowlers haven’t made it easy. They have challenged us in all the games,” Rahul said.

The Dharamsala wicket though is the best they have played on in this series, he said. “There’s something in it for the spinners and fast bowlers as well. The ball kept swinging the whole day. If you spend some time out there in the middle, it’s really good to bat. It has been a fantastic cricket wicket.”

Missing Virat Kohli

India skipper Virat Kohli was ruled out due to a shoulder injury, the first Test he has sat out due to a fitness issue since his 2011 debut. This was also the first time Rahul was playing a Test without Kohli in it. Asked whether India were missing Kohli, he said the others need to take up responsibility.

“We are missing Kohli. He’s been a huge influence on everybody in the team. He always sets great examples for us and he leads from the front. His aggression and energy are obviously something that would have been really good for us.”

First Published: Mar 26, 2017 19:53 IST