KL Rahul: ‘Nobody wants to lose, tricks of the trade isn’t unfair’

The India opener, who scored 79 in the second innings, says the team is preparing for overseas cricket; Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas hails Virat Kohli’s quickfire ton.

Rahul revealed the Indians wanted to score runs quickly in the morning and then have a go at the Sri Lankan batsmen.   -  K.R. DEEPAK

 

India opener KL Rahul impressed during his second innings, scoring 79, against Sri Lanka in the first Test at the Eden Gardens here on Monday. The right-handed batsman — dismissed for a duck in the rain-marred first innings — wished both teams had five days of cricket. “Maybe if we had five or six more overs, we could've made a match out of it on a pitch we enjoyed playing on. I don't think personally I've played a game like this, which is shortened and rain-curtailed but goes down to the wire.”

Asked whether the Sri Lankans indulged in time wasting tactics, Rahul replied, “It's a tricky thing. If we were in a situation like that, I am sure we would have done the same thing. That's how the game is played, nobody wants to lose the game. These tricks of the trades are played by every team. There's nothing unfair about it.”

IND vs SL: Sri Lanka earns a draw despite Kohli ton

He added, “Light was not good enough to play so the umpires had to call it off. We can't really do anything about that. These things are not in our control.”

Rahul revealed the Indians wanted to score runs quickly in the morning and then have a go at the Sri Lankan batsmen, but were held by Suranga Lakmal’s early strikes. “Then Virat played a fabulous knock,” he said.

Listen to KL Rahul's take on the play from Day 5

 

About not converting a string of Test half centuries into hundreds, Rahul said, “I’m not worried, but yeah, obviously it’s a little bit disappointing. I would have wanted to convert at least half of them into hundreds. But my innings here gave me a lot of confidence.”

Talking about India’s approach to the Test here, Rahul said, “It’s very clear that we’re preparing for the next two years that we’re going to travel abroad and play lot of cricket overseas.”

On the dramatic finish to the Test, Sri Lankan coach Nic Pothas said, “That was fantastic, isn't it? That's Test match cricket. It's a tough environment, it's a cauldron, and that's how players earn respect from each other. Great for the spectators.”

Virat played a fantastic innings and actually set up a very good game of Test match cricket. Our intensity while bowling and fielding was good,” he added.

Losing seven wickets in the second innings was a concern but this Sri Lankan team would learn much from taking on the Indian pacemen, Pothas said. “I think these two series back-to-back against India is going to be the making of the Sri Lankan team in the future, because if you play against a quality side under pressure you become better. We have been competitive in this Test and that’s a huge positive.”