Players have to be selective in their strokes in South Africa, suggests KL Rahul

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Players have to be selective in their strokes in South Africa, suggests KL Rahul

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SportsCafe Desk


KL Rahul has stated that the Indian players have to be very selective in their shot making and leave a lot of balls, especially with the new ball, to have success in South Africa. Rahul also praised Murali Vijay for the way he paces his game which results in his partner feeling confident as well.

The South Africa tour is considered as the biggest challenge for Team India because they seemed uncomfortable while playing on fast tracks. This is one of the biggest reasons that the Indian cricket team failed to register a single series win since playing for the first time in the African nation in 1992. In the current South African squad, the bowling attack would be led by Kagiso Rabada, who stands second in the ICC Test bowler rankings, along with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, and Vernon Philander. KL Rahul, who performed well in the shortest format of the game against Sri Lanka, opined that players have to overcome their limited-overs game mindset and spend extra time on the pitch which will help them to convert the fifties into hundreds.

“On Indian wickets, especially since we’re going from having played the shorter formats, pitches don’t do much, so you can stand and play a lot of shots. Once you go there, there will be a lot of seam movement. You will have to leave a lot of balls, especially against the new ball, and be selective in your strokes. You have to give yourself some time to get set,” Rahul told The Indian Express.

Vijay, who played 53 Tests for India, seemed to be in good touch in the Sri Lanka series where he played a knock of 128 and 155 runs in Nagpur and Delhi, respectively. In South Africa, Vijay played three matches scoring 176 runs including one half-century. Rahul praised Vijay’s charismatic presence on the field and said that his ability to play long innings helped the player who stood at the non-striker end. 

“There is a calmness in how Vijay goes about his innings. The way he takes his time and the way he leaves balls around off-stump. He controls that phase of the game and gives a lot of confidence, as a result, to the man at the other end. Shikhar is more attacking. The right-left combination also makes the bowler constantly readjust his line and length. It gives an opportunity to get more bad balls,” the 25-year-old said.

Ravi Shastri is the man who not only makes favorable decisions for the team with Virat Kohli but also helped the players who are facing a bad run of form. Before scoring 61 and 89 in the T20I against Sri Lanka in Cuttack and Indore respectively, Rahul scored 86 runs in the two Tests and he credited the head coach for giving him confidence.

“He hasn’t said this to me in as many words, but he’s somebody who has helped me a lot. He has helped me mentally and given me confidence as a coach and is like a mentor to all of us. He is constantly asking us to be fearless and back our game. He is someone with whom I can talk about anything.”

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