Despite not being accustomed to playing spin right away, he claims to have “thrived on performing in difficult circumstances and under pressure.”
KL Rahul has improved his understanding of his game by batting at No. 5 in ODIs. Rahul claimed that batting in the middle order gives him the chance to read the match situation and unwind before he steps out to bat after his match-winning and unbeaten 64 against Sri Lanka in Kolkata helped India win the series.
In this series, Rahul, who also maintained wickets, said, “One thing I really love is that you don’t have to rush back into batting.” “The advantage of starting at No. 5 is that you have time to kick back, take a nice, cold shower, eat a decent lunch, and relax before entering the game.
“Batting at No. 5 has just helped me understand my game a little bit better. Given that the ball is a little older, you must play spin instantly and that’s not what I am accustomed to normally. Of course, Rohit [Sharma] is very clear that that’s where he wants me to bat, and he’s conveyed that to me. So now I am challenging myself to get used to this position.”
On Thursday, India was chasing 216 and were down to 62 for 3 when Rahul walked in. Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya, and Shreyas Iyer helped him fill one end up with risk-free batting, which helped India cross the finish line. Rahul also gave the bowlers of India credit for reducing Sri Lanka to 215 all out in just 40 overs, which did not present a difficult asking rate for India.
Rahul stated, “The bowlers bowled extremely well, they maintained the pressure on and it becomes a little bit easier to chase later on when you have the team all out for 200-220.” “Three to four runs per over is not particularly difficult, and though Sri Lanka put up a good fight. They started really well with the ball, they got the early breakthroughs, and there was pressure on us. However, we enjoyed ourselves in the middle. [I had] a good partnership with Shreyas, Hardik, and Axar.”
The task that India had to complete just recently was very different from how they batted in Guwahati, where they collected 373 runs thanks to a push from the top order.
“Today was different. When I walked in, we were chasing 3.5 to 4 runs an over, and had lost four wickets, so it was important to really soak up the pressure and make sure the key bowlers don’t really get in the game.
Rahul claimed in a post-game news conference that despite his batting average varying over the years, he has never felt anxious about the stability of the batting order. Instead, he believed that the team management’s decision to urge him to go up or down the lineup dependent on team combinations and tactics was a sign that they trusted him.
The Kolkata innings became even more crucial for him because Rahul was no longer the vice-captain in ODIs and there were several middle-order and wicketkeeping choices for the management to choose before the World Cup later in the year. After a top-order hiccup, India needed someone to stabilize the chase. Rahul stayed on the field till the task was completed.