1st Test: I enjoyed being out in the middle, says KL Rahul on batting challenges at No. 4

India cricketer K.L. Rahul attributed his confident batting against England in the first Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium

Hyderabad, Jan 26 (IANS) India cricketer K.L. Rahul attributed his confident batting against England in the first Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Friday to the century he scored in South Africa recently.

Though he got out for 86 and missed scoring a well-deserved century on Day 2 of the ongoing first Test match of the five-match series, Rahul attributed his success to enjoying batting in the middle order.

Rahul’s inning against England came at a crucial juncture of the match after India lost their top order and were staring at a collapse. Tasked with the unfamiliar position of batting at No. 4, a role he had never previously essayed, Rahul rose to the occasion with a masterful 86.

Not only did he thrive in the middle order, but also showcased his ability to adapt swiftly, a trait reminiscent of his coach. Speaking about his evolving role and success, Rahul attributed his confidence to the century he scored in South Africa and expressed his enjoyment of batting in the middle order. He highlighted the benefits of having more time in the dressing room to assess the pitch and enter the field with a strategic approach, a luxury he didn’t have while opening.

“I could have got out on zero, so I will take the 86. Maybe tomorrow I’ll turn up and feel I missed out on a century. But today, I enjoyed being out in the middle. We watched England play yesterday and I felt like it wasn’t a wicket where you could wait for the loose balls to come, you had to create some opportunities and try to put the bowlers off their line and length,” said K.L. Rahul on ‘Match Centre Live’ on JioCinema and Sports18.

“I was looking for opportunities to score runs. I had a few shots in mind and was prepared to take my chances if the bowlers bowled there,” he said.

Rahul’s astute understanding of the game was evident as he shared insights from his pre-play conversation with Rohit Sharma, emphasising the need to adapt to the pace of the pitch. This adaptability was reflected in India’s approach on Day 2, where they, despite a slower scoring rate, built a substantial lead of 175 runs by the end of the day.

“I wanted to see where I could get runs. I spoke to Rohit in the morning, and he told me the wicket is a bit slow and you can’t go out there and start playing your shots. So, I just gave myself a bit of time and once I got a few shots going, I was only thinking how I could get runs,” Rahul said.

Since his return from a prolonged injury layoff before the Asia Cup, Rahul has been on an unwavering trajectory of success, seizing every opportunity that has come his way. Whether it was keeping wickets in South Africa or stepping into the specialist batter’s role, he has excelled with finesse.

His recent century at the Centurion while batting at No. 6 and the composed 86 in the ongoing Test have added another feather to his cap, as he now boasts fifty-plus scores in four different batting positions in Test cricket. Despite a minor setback when dropped on 0, Rahul capitalised on the second chance, compounding England’s troubles.

–IANS

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