K.L. Rahul: 'South Africa was a whole new challenge'

Speaking about his performance in South Africa, the Indian opener stated that he was surprised with the amount of seam movement that was on offer.

With scores of 3 and 22 in Karnataka’s first two Vijay Hazare Trophy fixtures, it has not been the best of tune-ups for Rahul ahead of the South Arica T20s.   -  PTI

After a disappointing run in the Test series in South Africa, K.L. Rahul hopes to find the big runs in the upcoming Twenty20 leg of the tour. Rahul is not part of the Indian ODI squad, which has allowed him the time to compete in the domestic one-day Vijay Hazare Trophy matches here.

Speaking about his performance in South Africa, Rahul stated that he was surprised with the amount of seam movement that was on offer. The opening batsman made 10, 4, 0 and 16 in the two Tests he had featured in.

“South Africa was a whole new challenge. We expected pace and bounce, but I did not expect that much seam movement. It was surprising. The movement, coupled with pace and bounce, is a deadly combination. You don’t want to be an opening batsman in these situations (laughs). But overall, it was a good learning experience," Rahul said on Saturday.

Not the best tune-up

In the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy, Rahul has scored 3 and 22 in Karnataka’s first two fixtures. Saturday’s outing, against Haryana, was called off due to wet outfield. It has not been the best of tune-ups, given that Rahul will travel to South Africa in a few days to join the Indian Twenty20 squad.

“I would have liked to spend more time in the middle here, in order to make the adjustment to the shorter format. I hope to bat tomorrow (against Punjab),” Rahul said.

The 25-year-old was picked by Kings XI Punjab in the 2018 IPL auctions, at a price of Rs. 11 crore. As the sole wicketkeeper-batsman in the squad, Rahul is expected to bear a heavy load for the franchise.

He is confident that he can deliver with the bat and the ‘keeping gloves too. “I like the responsibility, and to be in a position where a team expects a lot from me. Kings XI Punjab has me as the sole wicketkeeper; they don’t need anyone else. That is how the franchise feels, and that’s how I feel too,” he said.