As India defeated Australia by 36 runs at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Thursday to bring level into the three-match series, KL Rahul was at his shining best with the willow and the wicketkeeping gloves.
Despite continuous disturbances in his batting order, Rahul has somehow managed to fetch the numbers and force his selection into the playing eleven. But what happened in Rajkot was nothing less than special. Coming down the order at 5, he smashed 80 off 52 deliveries and later in the match took two catches and affected one lightning-fast stumping with the gloves.
However, it was his batting that made everyone sit and take notice of his brilliance. Rahul’s fiery knock helped India reach a commendable total of 340 on what looked like batting heaven in Rajkot. Chasing, Australia, too, had reached 300 and one could easily argue had Rahul not played the way he did, there was little chance for the Men in Blue to remain alive in the series.
Learnt from De Villiers, Smith and Williamson: KL Rahul
Speaking about his knock, the Indian batsman said that he watched a lot of videos of top-class players like De Villiers to adjust his game according to the batting position, “I watched the videos of players like AB de Villiers, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson. Only thing is I adjusted my game to it. My game reading has also become much better,” Rahul was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Speaking about the pressure of batting in different positions, the 27-year-old corrected and said more than pressure it’s a learning curve for him as he gets to learn “new ways to counter the bowlers, new ways to adjust to the situations”.
As an Indian cricketer, he said getting any kind of role is a blessing for him and expressed his desire to bat at any position that the team demands from him. “I am more than willing to bat at any position for the team. It is a team game and anybody would do it for the team,” he added.
Meanwhile, Team India kept themselves alive in series which makes the last match in Bengaluru a virtual final. Other than Rahul, opener Shikhar Dhawan and captain Virat Kohli also flourished with the bat. Chasing the winning total of 341, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne threatened to take the match away from India on the back of a solid start to their innings. However, the Indian bowlers were up to the task as they curtailed the visitors’ innings at 304.
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