Rohit Sharma is clear that I should bat at number 5: KL Rahul
KL Rahul on Thursday said that batting outside his comfort zone has helped him perform better and that he is ready to bat at any position as long as he is in the playing XI.
“First, I want to be in the playing XI, that’s the most important thing. I try to do whatever the team wants me to do. I’ve done that all the time I’ve played for India,” Rahul told reporters after the match.
Batting at number 5, Rahul scored a patient 64 off 103 balls to help India win the match by 4 wickets and take a 2-0 lead in the series.
In the post-match presentation, Rahul said that he was not used to playing straight spin and it was challenging.
“Batting at No. 5 helped me understand my game a little better. Because the ball is a bit old, you have to play spin immediately, which I’m not usually used to. Obviously Rohit (Sharma) is very clear that that is where he wants me to bat and he conveyed that to me. So now I am challenging myself to get used to this position,” Rahul told broadcasters.
In recent years, the 30-year-old has batted at different positions in ODIs. He admits that stepping out of his comfort zone helped him thrive under pressure.
“I remember the first Test I batted in, I batted at number 6. Then I opened it. I was ranked 6th in the 2019 World Cup. After Shikhar (Dhawan) got injured, I had to come back to open again. I’ve played at No.5, I’ve played at No.4, and I’ve been asked to keep wicket. I think it’s really fun for me. I perform well in difficult situations and under pressure.
“It tells me that the team believes in me and supports me. It has helped me understand my batting and myself better. If you decide to choose a team sport as a sport or career, you should be ready or flexible to do whatever work is asked of you,” he added. .
Also talking about the role of wicket-keeping, the right-handed batsman said: “I have been doing this for a few years now. From the end of 2019, throughout 2020 and some games in 2021. This is nothing new.”
“The team has given me time to settle into this position and role. When you have the support of your captain and coach, it helps you focus and bring your 100 per cent concentration, which is what the team expects,” he said.
KL Rahul admits that playing the dual role in 50-over cricket has set him up.
“Yes, it’s different from what I do in other formats and it keeps me on my toes, keeps me challenged – a different role helps me understand my game better,” he said.
“With the added responsibility, you also have to work hard on your fitness. Wicket-keeping and batting is a bit more taxing on the body because I haven’t done it in a long time, I’ve done it in white-ball cricket,” Rahul said.