KL Rahul was frank about India's disappointment at being eliminated from the Asia Cup in the Super Fours stage, stating the win against Afghanistan was a positive but the team has a lot to learn. He went on to talk about his personal comeback from injury and his feeling in the middle of late.
India put in their best performance of the Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday against Afghanistan albeit it came in a dead rubber after their elimination from the tournament had already been confirmed. However, the 101-run victory was hallmarked by some incredible individual displays that bode well for the team's future. While Virat Kohli's 71st international century after nearly three years was certainly the highlight of their display as they etched a mammoth score of 212, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's five-wicket haul to restrict Afghanistan to 111/8 was certainly the icing on the cake.
The World T20 is now a little over a month away, with the Men in Blue scheduled to play just six T20Is at home before they head Down Under for the marquee event. Having exited the World T20 2021 in the group stages well, India would be desperate to take maximum learning from their Asia Cup campaign and apply it on the big stage.
"The result has been disappointing. We came into the tournament wanting to play the final and the groove of winning big tournaments. There are positives to take out, and we've really been challenged. Time to sit back and reflect where we need to improve, but it's happened at a really good time - obviously don't want to lose - but we can take away a lot of lessons," stand-in skipper KL Rahul was quoted saying by ESPN Cricinfo in the post-match presentation.
The encounter against Afghanistan was crucial for Rahul personally as well, scoring his first-half century since returning from a long injury break last month. His knock of 62 in 41 deliveries was laced with six boundaries and two sixes and featured some vintage shots from the 30-year-old reminiscent of him at the top of his game.
"Coming back after a big injury and surgery, I've learnt that it's not as easy as you think. Finding the same touch or rhythm wasn't coming as easily as I thought it would," he revealed.
Previously, the senior squad figure had struggled for form in the tournament, managing a solitary 30-plus score against Hong Kong albeit it did comprise two stunning sixes as did the 28 in the second fixture against Pakistan.
"Happy I could find some time in the middle. Once I hit a few in the middle of the bat I started feeling good. I think the Hong Kong game I hit one out of the ground, it felt good. And then hitting a few shots in the Pakistan game gave some confidence," Rahul concluded on the matter.