K.L. Rahul: Want to make run scoring a habit

The 27-year-old showed no signs of pressure at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, slamming a career-best 131 (122b) to guide his side to victory over Kerala.

K.L. Rahul: "I want to challenge myself in difficult conditions, work a little bit on my technique, see where I'm faltering, which I already know."   -  sudhakara jain

This domestic season comes at a critical juncture in K.L. Rahul's career, with the batsman having lost his place in the Test side, and having been left out of India's playing eleven in the shorter formats recently.

In Karnataka's opening game in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Rahul was dismissed for 29 playing a mistimed aerial shot. But the 27-year-old showed no signs of pressure at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday, slamming a career-best 131 (122b) to guide his side to victory over Kerala.

READ| Wasim Jaffer: For K. L. Rahul, the problem is in the mindset

Disciplined shot-making

"[This knock was] not as free-flowing as I wanted it to be, but it gives you more satisfaction as a player because you know it was not an easy wicket," he said afterwards. "You had to work hard. In the first game I felt that I could have carried on longer and delayed that risky shot.

"Today, I tried to stay more disciplined with my shot-making. That’s what I am looking to get out of these 8-10 games, make sure that I am disciplined with my shot selection and get some time in the middle and enjoy my batting.

"I want to challenge myself in difficult conditions, work a little bit on my technique, see where I'm faltering, which I already know. So to come back here and work on it, to get quality opposition and to get runs against them feels very very good. I just want to make it a habit to keep scoring runs."

READ| India vs South Africa Test Squad: K.L. Rahul dropped, Shubman Gill earns maiden call-up

No cakewalk

Rahul was pleased to be back playing for Karnataka. "It's lovely. I love coming back to play with the same set of boys I have grown up playing with," he said. "There are a few youngsters who have improved their cricket, and it’s just so good to see. They are keen to learn. They ask, 'How is international cricket different from playing first-class cricket, what are the changes you have to do, what’s the pressure like at the higher level?’ It's great to come and share these things."

Domestic cricket was no cakewalk, Rahul pointed out. "The wickets are a lot better at the higher level. Here, it's a bit more challenging,” he said. “If we get to bat first, then the first 10-15 overs are a bit of a challenge. It's like playing the first session in a red-ball game. That's a good challenge for me because I need to work on my game. Jharkhand had bowlers who were bowling at 140 clicks. Even today, the three Kerala fast bowlers all bowled 140 plus. It's a different challenge from international cricket but I don't think it's just a cakewalk to come and get runs here. You still have to work hard."