KL Rahul has expressed his disappointment over missing out on what would have been his maiden double century on the third day of the fifth Test against England. Rahul has also praised his childhood friend Karun Nair for his knock and hoped that he and Murali Vijay can give India a big lead.
“It was a good day till I got out. I was looking to play positively, everything was going my way... I was hitting the ball in the middle and the chances that I took came off. Everything was looking good, but it was unfortunate that the pressure of getting a double hundred got to me. Missing out on a double century obviously hurts.
“I am gutted. But I will go back home happy that I got 199 crucial runs for my team,” Rahul told The Hindu.
Batting at 199, Rahul lobbed a simple catch to Jos Buttler at the cover point and crouched down holding his head in his hands. He said, “I was just shut off. I couldn’t hear what was being said (in the dressing room). There were a lot of boys who came up to me and said something, but I was just disappointed. I got my first international duck in Visakhapatnam and now getting out on 199... so I am going through a lot of emotions in this Test series.”
The Karnataka batsman, who is making a comeback into the side after a long spell at the sidelines, has also revealed how the recent injuries had initially shifted his focus from batting before he changed his approach in Mumbai.
“I came back after one month and then again missed the third Test so it plays on your mind. I was thinking more about not getting injured again than focussing on batting. When I reached Mumbai, I changed my approach and thought that if I get injured I get injured, and it doesn’t really matter,” Rahul added.
Rahul was full of praise for Karun Nair, who formed a 161-run partnership with him for the fourth wicket, and has hoped that he and Murali Vijay can carry on. “Karun and I have played together since we were 11. His family was here watching the game and both our families will be proud watching us both play together. I am very happy that Karun is still batting after getting his 50. He has looked confident. Hopefully, he and [Murali] Vijay can carry on,” he said.
The 24-year-old feels this is the best wicket they have played on in this series and hoped for some turn in the last two days of the match. He said, “Our aim was to bat five or six sessions and if we get a good lead of 100-150 runs put the England batsmen under pressure again. We are hoping that the wicket will break and something might happen on the fifth day.
“It’s the best wicket we have played on so far in this series. When we get a wicket like this, we want to make full use of it. Hopefully, it will start turning.”