KL Rahul has opened up on the speculations surrounding his place in the side, asserting he knows his role at the top of the order and is working continuously to provide maximum impact. He went on to credit the dressing room atmosphere for being supportive and allowing him to play without any fears.
As India finish their preparations ahead of the first of three T20Is against Australia at Mohali on September 20, questions around their batting order continue to loom large. While KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have consolidated the positions for themselves in recent times, a long injury break for the former has allowed fringe players to get opportunities and even thrive.
The 30-year-old only returned to the T20I side in the Asia Cup having last played in January and failed to impress, managing just 132 runs in five innings. He did get a flamboyant 62 off 41 deliveries in the final game against Afghanistan but doubts over his strike rate persisted, especially considering Virat Kohli's re-emergence to form. Rahul currently has a strike rate of 140.91 after 61 T20Is while his Indian Premier League career has seen him strike nearly 4,000 runs in 100 innings at a rate of 136.22. Speaking on the eve of the series opener, the Indian vice-captain admitted he is trying to improve in various departments of his game.
"Look, obviously something that every player wants to work on. No one is perfect, everybody is working towards something, obviously strike rates are taken on an overall basis. You never see when a batter has played at a certain strike rate, whether it was important to play for him to play at a 200 strike rate or whether the team could still have won with him playing at 120-130. These are the things that no one analyses," KL Rahul told reporters as per India Today.
"Yes, it is something that I am working at, the roles that have been defined for each player in the last 10-12 months have been very clear, and everyone is working towards it. And, I am just working towards how I can better myself as an opening batter and how I can have an impact on my team whenever I go out to bat," he added.
The Men in Blue have just six T20Is ahead of the World T20 next month to address any concerns with the lineup. This will be the first marquee tournament for India under the duo of Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma and the pair will be keen to hand India their second title after a 15-year wait.
"There can be criticism about many things. But the most important thing for a player is what his captain, coach, and teammates think of him in the dressing room. Only we know what role is expected of each player. Everyone is trying to give their best, but not everyone can succeed in each game. It is the kind of environment we have created where players are not scared to commit mistakes or fail," Rahul concluded.