Time on the sidelines made me stronger, says KL Rahul

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Time on the sidelines made me stronger, says KL Rahul

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SportsCafe Desk

07/23/2017

Indian opener KL Rahul, who recently made a return to the Indian team after a long lay off due to injury, has stated that time away from the game has made him stronger as a person. The 25-year old also suggested that he is more than ready to take on the challenges that come his way in Sri Lanka.

KL Rahul was at his peak against Australia at home scoring 393 runs at an average of 65.50 before being ruled out of the last Test for aggravating his left shoulder which had gone under the knife back then. The injury ruled him out of the Indian Premier League as well and also from what could have been his first Champions Trophy campaign with the men in blue.

However, the Karnataka lad did not let the injury overcome his love for the game and made a return to the Indian Test team for Sri Lanka tour and according to him, he is stronger than ever.

"I haven’t been happier ever in my life. It has been quite a tough time to be away from cricket, to be away from the thing that you love the most. To just sit at home and watch the boys playing, it was really hard for me. It did make me a lot stronger, made me value my life, my opportunities and here I am, back in. It feels good to be back holding the bat and hitting the ball to the boundary." he said, in an interview to BCCI.

Rahul revealed that rehabilitation was hard for the 25-year old but his passion for the game was far more powerful than the injury.

"Watching the Champions Trophy and the loss in the final was heart-breaking but the way the boys played the whole tournament was really exciting. I was missing being part of the team. So, rehab basically for me is possibly the most boring thing you can ever do, most honestly. Just wake up every morning and to do the same boring thing again and again is quite tiring and it starts to get to you.

"You start questioning yourself, asking yourself if you really want to do all these boring things. You chose a sport that is exciting and challenges you every day and here you are, waking up and doing boring things. That was the biggest challenge for me but I woke up and there was something that pushed me to go to the gym, go to the physio, go through the painful process, needling and then pushing my shoulder. It was quite tough but it is part of a sportsman’s life and part of our career.

"It’s good that things like this happened to me early and I am hoping for an injury-free career going forward. The surgeon and the physio were really happy that I could come back in three months. They were expecting me to come back a lot later but I did pay a lot of attention to my rehab. I was very disciplined and very eager to get back to the team as soon as I could. I didn’t want to miss out on any more matches."

Rahul also revealed that he hasn't practiced much in the nets before making a return to the team but his fifty against Sri Lanka Board President XI definitely proved that he is ready for taking on the Sri Lankan bowlers.

"I have had only like three net sessions before I have come here, so I haven’t had a lot of practice or skill-time. I am just coming with a fresh mind and we do have 3-4 days before the Test match starts, so I will make the most of it. I played a practice match in Bangalore before I came here and had a few net sessions before I travelled with the team. That has given me a little bit of confidence and like I said, it is mostly me fighting my doubts and fears in my head more than anything else." 

Although, Rahul scored a century in the second Test against Sri Lanka on India's tour to the island in 2015, he did not perform well in the other two Tests. However, he insisted that he has learned a lot from his mistakes the last time he toured Sri Lanka and is itching to get out onto the crease.

"What I learnt from the last tour was, I left a few balls and got bowled. I went back and worked a lot on my batting. I decided to play a lot closer to the body and the Kookaburra ball does a little bit for the first 20-25 overs and then you can play your shots and get a lot of runs. So, the first 20-25 overs will be the biggest challenge and if I can fight through that as an opening batsman, then there are a lot of runs to be made." he concluded.

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