Opener, Middle-order batsman, keeper and now captain: ‘Enjoying challenges thrown at me’ - KL Rahul
KL Rahul has become one of the trusted members of the Indian cricket team with the Karnataka batsman getting plenty of new responsibilities in recent times. In the ODI series against Australia, Rahul was asked to bat at no. 5 and he hammered 80 runs in 52 balls to help his side to a mammoth total in the 2nd ODI. He was also given the role of the wicketkeeper in the same series, and now has become a regular in that role for the Indian team. With Virat Kohli being rested and Rohit Sharma getting injured in the middle of India’s innings, Rahul was asked to take over the captaincy reigns in the 5th T20I against New Zealand.
Under Rahul’s leadership, the visitors picked up a win by 7 runs in the 5th T20I to complete series cleansweep at Mount Maunganui. Speaking on getting the new challenges, Rahul said: “Every day I wake up and every day I have been thrown into the game, I am very grateful and loving the challenges that are being thrown at me.”
The 27-year-old added that he is happy how the team responded in Kohli and Rohit’s absence. “Enjoying my cricket and was great to see how we responded without our leaders when both Virat and Rohit weren’t on the park and there were a lot of question marks.”
He further credited his teammates for acting according as the situation demanded. “The way we performed, I might have been the captain but the way all of them were involved, every one knew what to do,” he said.
“Everyone performed as a unit and we have always come out with the answers. The execution level is increasing and they are staying calm. Yuzvendra Chahal and Bumrah are senior bowlers and they have done it before, but Shardul, Saini and Sundar today, they did well and held their own,” he added.
Rahul further described the bowlers as “fearless” and said: “Bowlers are now fearless with experimenting and are not worried about getting hit. It is important to have that mind set in T20 cricket. Today too, without Virat, I couldn’t really do much behind the stumps. I cannot run every ball. They were coming up with their own plans. It was great to see they know what to do and more often than not they did what they wanted to,” he said.
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