Dual role in ODIs keeping me on my toes, keeps me challenged: KL Rahul | Cricket News read full article at worldnews365.me

NEW DELHI: India’s wicket-keeper batter KL Rahul said that his dual role in one-day internationals is keeping him on his toes and making him work harder. Rahul disclosed that the team management has given him time to settle into this new role.
Rahul added that it is not something new as he has been doing this for a while now.

“Obviously, I’ve done this for a couple of years now. From the end of 2019, throughout 2020 and a few games in 2021. It’s not something that’s new,” Rahul said in the media interaction after guiding India to a series-sealing win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI in Kolkata.
“The team has given me time to settle into this position and role. When you have the backing of your captain and coach, it helps you focus and bring your 100 percent concentration, which is what the team is expecting.
“Yes, it’s different to what I do in other formats that keeps me on my toes, keeps me challenged — a different role helps me understand my game better,” Rahul said regarding his dual role and new batting position, in the middle-order.


2nd ODI: KL Rahul anchors India’s series win over Sri Lanka with fighting fifty

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Rahul is now batting at No. 5 with young Shubman Gill playing as opener in ODIs with skipper Rohit Sharma.
Rahul added that he has to work harder on his fitness for the additional responsibility.
“I’ve to work slightly differently when it comes to batting in the middle-order. Wicket-keeping and batting can be slightly more taxing on the body, because I have not done it for too long, I’ve done it on and off in white ball cricket.
“That’s the tough part. But since I know this is what is required from me, I try to manage my body and work that much harder on my fitness. Little bit of work on my keeping and a lot of work on batting in the middle-order and batting against spin.”

“Any role that helps win matches for my team and country is what satisfies me the most wherever I bat. Firstly, I want to be in the playing XI, that’s the most important thing.”
Rahul also said he has got used to playing different roles for the team.
“Once you are there, whatever the team requires me to do, I try to do that. That’s something that I’ve done throughout. Since the time I’ve started playing cricket for India,” he added remembering his Test debut in the Boxing Day Test against Australia in 2014.
“Then afterwards I went on to open, played at No 6 and when Shikhar (Dhawan) got injured, I opened again, played at No 4 and 5.”
Rahul, who also led India in Rohit’s absence last year, said the trust bestowed on him by the team management helps him thrive under pressure.
“I’ve been all over, I’ve been asked to keep wickets. It’s been fun for me. I’ve really enjoyed being thrown different challenges. I’ve really thrived on performing in tough conditions and being put under pressure.
“That only tells me that the team really trusts me and backs me, under Virat and Rohit. I’ve really enjoyed doing that. It helped me understand myself, my game, and my batting better. How I’m under pressure, when taken out of my comfort zone.”
Chasing a paltry 216 in the second ODI, Rahul (64* off 103 balls) bailed India out from being 86/4 with his knock of sheer patience and perseverance. He was the only designated batter left in the middle as he stitched two key partnerships with Hardik Pandya (36) and Axar Patel (21) to take them over the line in 43.2 overs.
“There’s little bit happening with the ball as well, we handled the pressure pretty well. Games like this are also important. We played one 370-plus and they scored 300-plus,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)

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