KL Rahul has revealed that he watched his Test batting video clips and discussed the same with his coaches after he was dropped from the Test side two years ago. Rahul also said that his body was tested after donning the gloves in India's practice match against County XI, where he scored 101.
Indian batsman KL Rahul is eyeing a resilient comeback in Test cricket nearly two years after he played against the West Indies in September 2019, post which he was axed from the longest format.
After poor outings in the first two Tests of the 2018/19 Australia tour, the Karnataka batsman was dropped for the MCG Test only to return in Sydney with a single digit score, after which he barely featured. Rahul recalled how he worked on his batting technique after being dropped, with a break from Test cricket allowing him to brush up his skills and become more confident and focused.
"When I got dropped in 2018, I had to go back and discuss with coaches, watched a lot of videos to see where I was faltering and try to correct that. I'm happy, time off from Test cricket has helped. Like they say, failure makes you strong, makes you more focused and determined about the game. It's no different for me. I'm looking forward to the opportunities, trying to stay a lot calmer and more disciplined," Rahul was quoted as saying in a video clip posted by bcci.tv.
"I've always been confident. I've never really worried about confidence. It's my self-belief that has gotten me so far, but it's about maintaining a calm head, learning from your mistakes. I'm just enjoying my game. I've made mistakes, I've learnt from them. I get stronger. Like I said this is a good opportunity again, hopefully fingers crossed I can do the job for the team," he added.
Rahul was amongst the Indian team members who toured England in 2018 and featured in all five Tests of the series. Although he struggled to score runs, managing just 113 runs from the first four games, his spectacular 149 in the fifth Test at The Oval served as a reminder of his abilities. Rahul admitted that he didn't perform to his potential and expected to get dropped after the series.
"I remember The Oval being the best batting pitch we got in the whole series. At the back of my mind, I also knew it was the last game of the series and I hadn't done well in the series. So, it was only realistic that I would have probably not gotten a chance in the next series," Rahul said.
Shubman Gill's injury has been a blessing in disguise for Rahul to contend for the opening slot along with his Karnataka and Punjab Kings teammate Mayank Agarwal, but there is a good chance he could also feature in the middle-order. Recently, Rahul scored a century in India's practice match against England & Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) County XI side, his 101 runs off 150 balls coming in the middle-order in the match that ended in a draw. Rahul said that it felt nice to get some runs and game-time under his belt in red-ball cricket.
"It's always good to get runs in the white kit. It's been a while since I'd played a red-ball game, so it was very nice to be out there, and score runs. It's important to stay patient and wait for my turn. I've been working on my game. It's good to get some time in the middle and score some runs," Rahul said.
In January 2020, Rahul had taken over the gloves from Rishabh Pant in white-ball cricket and cemented his place as India's middle-order batsman and first choice wicket-keeper. Recently he donned the gloves for India in the warm-up game in the absence of frontline keepers Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha. The 29-year-old said that he enjoyed keeping and it helped him test his body's capacity.
"It's a good opportunity to test my body and wicketkeeping skills. The added responsibility made me really sore (laughs) but apart from that, it was a good time out and it gives me a good opportunity to stay in the game. Especially when it is a practice game, sometimes it can feel longer. But when you're wicketkeeping, you need to stay focused and you're in the game all the time. So, I quite enjoyed it," Rahul said.
India will begin their five-match series against England on August 4 in Nottingham.