KL Rahul defends Sri Lanka’s delaying tactics, ‘India would’ve done same’ | Hindustan Times
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KL Rahul defends Sri Lanka’s delaying tactics, ‘India would’ve done same’

India captain Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami had an altercation with Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella after both felt that the latter was intentionally delaying play on the fifth day of the first Test. KL Rahul said the actions of the Sri Lanka batsman was understandable

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Nov 20, 2017 20:02 IST
Dhiman  Sarkar
India captain Virat Kohli, back to camera, talks to the umpires after he felt that Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella was intentionally delaying play in the first Test.
India captain Virat Kohli, back to camera, talks to the umpires after he felt that Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella was intentionally delaying play in the first Test.(AP)

India opener KL Rahul said he had never played a Test where nearly two days were lost to rain and yet they were “five or six overs” from forcing a result. Sri Lanka did delay proceedings but after handshakes at Eden Gardens on Monday, Rahul said India would have acted similarly. (India vs Sri Lanka 1st Test - HIGHLIGHTS)

“If we were in a situation like that, we would have done the same. Nobody wants to lose. There is nothing unfair in it. Yes, as a team wanting to win we were trying to push in as many overs as we could. Five or six more overs and it could have made the difference,” said Rahul, who scored 79 (125b, 8x4) after being dismissed off the first ball on Thursday. (India vs Sri Lanka 1st Test - SCORECARD)

Rahul, 25, said India wanted to tempt Sri Lanka with a target of 200 to 250. “The plan was to play positively and set them a target even they would feel could be chased because that is where we could create opportunities,” he said.

Sri Lanka pacer Suranga Lakmal delayed that with three wickets in the morning, he said. “Lakmal bowled really well…So we had to play longer. Virat (Kohli) played a fabulous knock. This was expected of one batsman and he did it,” said Rahul.

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The wicket helped fast bowlers throughout but Rahul said, as the cracks appeared on Sunday and Monday, it aided seam bowling just as during the first two days, the moisture on the strip and the conditions helped swing bowling. “It would have been completely different if they had batted first,” said Rahul.

After correcting the questioner about the number of fifties – nine -- in his last 11 innings, Rahul said he has never played for “numbers” but accepted that not converting starts has been “disappointing.”

“I would have wanted to convert at least half of them into hundreds, my numbers would have showed eight or nine hundreds (he has four).. But it will come,” he said.

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The wicket here is the kind India would find abroad where they will mostly play for the next two years. “We wanted to prepare for that and as my innings here gives me a lot of confidence. The mindset we came out with in the second innings was positive; we didn’t want to let the bowlers settle down and the partnership with Shikhar (Dhawan) was very satisfying,” he said.

Coming back from “nothing for three” as they did Rahul said showed how much they have evolved as a team in the “last two years.”

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“The bowlers did their job, the batsmen did well. There are two more Tests and we are looking forward to winning them,” he said.

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