KL Rahul: Lack of game time a factor but need to find a way out

Ever since being sidelined due to a wrist injury midway through the Australia tour last year, Rahul was deprived of donning India’s colours for three months.

After an indifferent T20 series against the same team, Rahul had a good first ODI scoring a half century as well as a number of catches behind the stumps.   -  GETTY IMAGES

When K.L. Rahul was included as wicketkeeper-batsman ahead of Rishabh Pant in India’s team for the opening ODI against England on Tuesday, eyebrows were raised. But the connoisseurs weren’t surprised. After all, since the start of 2020, Rahul has been extremely successful as the preferred ’keeper-cum-finisher in the 50-over format.

Despite a horrendous run in the T20I series, Rahul justified his inclusion with an unbeaten 62 off 43 in a blitzkrieg association with Krunal Pandya that took the game away from England.

Lack of game-time

Ever since being sidelined due to a wrist injury midway through the Australia tour last year, Rahul was deprived of donning India’s colours for three months. The articulate Bangalorean had no qualms in admitting he found it difficult to deal with lack of game-time.

“Being in the middle, playing games is what gives me the best touch. Having not got as much game-time as I would have liked, it did play on my mind.

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“But somehow or the other I knew I had to find a way to get myself best prepared with be it at training, or the open net sessions,” Having said that, nothing beats game-time,” Rahul said on Thursday, ahead of the second ODI.

Happy for Prasidh

Besides finding his form, Rahul was delighted for his younger Karnataka-mate M. Prasidh Krishna returning a four-wicket haul on debut.

“I am not surprised with what he (Prasidh) did. I was always very confident that the next player that is going to come out of Karnataka is going to be Prasidh,” Rahul said.

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“I have watched him play a lot of junior cricket and I am watching him in the nets, he is somebody who will catch your eye.

“Tall guy, bowls quick, gets a lot of bounce from the wicket, and having played with him in the last couple of seasons, I realised that he is a brave boy. He has a great sense of the game, it's not just his skill but how he understands and reads the game.”