After defiant knock, KL Rahul reflects on road ahead, identifies missing cogs
KL Rahul was floundering at the international level, he seemed to be lost. There was never any doubt over his talent or ability, but well, the results were very erratic. Hence, the selectors dropped him from the Test side, he does not find a starting place in the T20I or ODI sides. He is back to the grind of domestic cricket and well, the message is pretty clear - score big runs, make it impossible for the selectors to ignore you again.
And he has started well, in an assured manner, in a manner people have always hoped KL Rahul would play. Against Kerala he took guard when the conditions were not easy. The bowlers were getting the ball to jag around, there was considerable seam and swing on offer and yet, Rahul was patient, Rahul was how Rahul gained prominence back in 2010 when he played straight and left balls outside the off stump. He wanted to enjoy batting again, for in the recent past, he has seemed lost, the fun element of playing the game was absent.
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“Once I got set, wanted to make sure I carry on longer because we were only playing five specialist batsmen and three all-rounders,” Rahul told ESPNCricinfo after the match. “My plan was to bat till 40-45 overs, and I wanted to stick to that. I just want to stay disciplined with my shot selection, get time in the middle and enjoy my batting again. I haven’t been in the middle for a while, so just wanted to enjoy spending that time.”
It was not a flawless innings, he was tested by the Kerala seamers, he played and missed on more than one occasion, but the right-hander was not too flustered. He took guard again and tried to focus on the next ball.
“I need to work on my game, so this [batting early on] is a good challenge. I have to stay a lot more disciplined and can’t get ahead of the game. I don’t think it’s just a cakewalk to come and get runs here, you still have to work hard,” Rahul said.
He might be out of favour right now, but as people who have watched him play would vouch, there is enough talent and pedigree for him to not find a way back. Rahul needs to start enjoying his game and as he said, he needs to keep working hard and try to not get too ahead of himself.