MS Dhoni has always been my role model, says KL Rahul

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© Twitter - Zimbabwe Cricket

MS Dhoni has always been my role model, says KL Rahul

Scoring an ODI century on debut is tough, even if it is against Zimbabwe, and KL Rahul was elated after the achievement in the first ODI between India and the African nation. The first Indian to accomplish the feat later talked about his game plan going into the match and how it worked.

Rahul appeared to be on the verge of a century as the runs required for an Indian win equalled the runs required for his century until the end. However, it seemed to be slipping when he appeared in no hurry to get those runs and the target was so close in sight. Eventually, when it was two runs to win with Rahul still needing six for a ton, he brought out a clean hit that sailed past long-on to bring up the century in style.

"I wasn't thinking much, there was just one way to get to a century. I wanted to hold my shape and just hit it," said Rahul.

Speaking about the wicket, where the Zimbabwe batsmen struggled before India put on a masterful batting display to win losing just one wicket, Rahul said, "It was a tough wicket so I could not be complacent. I wanted to play out the new ball, and then take it from there. I am really satisfied with the way I carried on and stayed not out in the end. Hope to do the same in the coming games”.

Rahul also spoke about the achievement of playing international cricket and getting his first international cap. He said, "Getting ODI cap from MS Dhoni was a dream come true. I always looked up to him as a kid growing up from a small town to come (at international level) and make it big. My parents used to tell me that cricket is not for small-town guy. I always asked them to look at Dhoni. He’s the most successful captain. He’s been a role model for me and a lot of youngsters.”

(Also read - Zimbabwe v India | Twitter reacts to mind-numbing cricket on display at Harare)

Skipper Dhoni reserved praise for the bowlers in setting up the win.

"I felt the fast bowlers did well, and were backed by the spinners even though there wasn't much help for them.

"It was a very good performance. The wicket was not easy to bat on. It was tough to rotate the strike," said Dhoni.

"A win first up is important in a three-game series. The batsmen did a very good job, but the bowlers laid the ground work," said the skipper.

Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer, who must have been disappointed rued the lack of runs on board and said, "We didn't get enough runs. Maybe if we would have got to 220, it could have been a different story. We lost a couple of wickets to good balls, but few of the guys didn't kick on after getting 20s and 30s”.

He praised the Indian batsmen saying, "Indian batsmen showed how easy batting can get once you get in. Our seamers bowled well, but it just didn't go our way. We know we're much better than that, and we can hopefully win the next game to make the third ODI a final", reported PTI.

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