KL Rahul, who had a bad run in the Indian blues, with three ducks in the last four T20Is, admitted that he started to feel far more confident after spending time in the middle during the first ODI. Rahul also added that he never had any sort of doubts or stress during the lean period.
Midway through the five-match T20I series, the form surrounding KL Rahul was a grave concern for the Indian team, especially in a World T20 year, where the stakes are high. While he was dropped for ‘tactical’ reasons in the last T20I, he has since retained his place in the ODI setup, at No.5, where he put on a show with Krunal Pandya, taking India over the 300-run mark.
During his stay, the No.5 batsman scored a 43-ball 63, including four boundaries and four sixes to help India to a 66-run victory. On the back of that innings and his time in the middle, KL Rahul admitted that he started feeling more confident following that innings.
"Like I said, the ODI format, playing at number five, I could take a little more time than I did maybe in T20s. Having spent a little time in the middle, having played a couple of good shots, the footwork got better. When I walked in, Shikhar was batting well,” Rahul told pressers, in the pre-match press conference, on Thursday.
“I knew when Krunal walked in, I realised we had to stitch a partnership together, when you stop thinking about your own personal game and when there is responsibility in front of you, you start thinking clearer, having spent 20-25 balls in the middle, I started to feel more confident," he added.
However, Rahul admitted that there was never really concern over his batting display, adding that his main focus was always on the preparation and never the end goal, which was runs. He insisted that it was disappointing certainly to not come up with the good for India but added that it never impacted his confidence levels.
"I asked myself if I prepared well, and when I thought about it, I did everything right, after that, if I did not score runs, then it's fine, I accept that. Having said that, it does not mean that you do not feel disappointed. When you are playing at this level, you always want to perform, but you need to accept that it is not always going to go your way,” he said.
“When things were going right, I did not question my process so I did not want to sit back and overthink after four-five bad performances, I was doing most things right which was in my control," he added.
Having earned the reputation of being the No.1 wicketkeeper in India, in the T20Is, KL Rahul lost that wicketkeeper spot to Rishabh Pant during the T20I series. However, come to ODI format, he has retained his place as the wicketkeeper. Rahul, however, stated that one can never sit back and feel comfortable, owing to the ‘high’ competition in the Indian outfit. Rahul insisted that it is always a good thing in such a setup to have competition for places.
"When you are part of this Indian team, you always know competition would be really high. You can never sit back and feel comfortable like you own your position. That's the good thing, our team has high talent, players will always come in. As a player in this team, you always try to push yourself and try to get better with each passing day."