K L Rahul finds it frustrating that he has featured in only 13 ODIs since making his limited-overs debut in 2016. However, Rahul perfectly understands that he cannot afford to sulk provided the competition for places in the team.
"I know how I have to work on my game. Whatever position I get I have to make the best use of it. It is disheartening and frustrating at times. But given the competition, nobody is a sure-shot," Rahul told reporters after the tie against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup on Tuesday.
"So you have to wait your turn. You have to be patient and work hard. Whenever I am not playing, it's easy for me to sit and sulk why am I not playing. But I use that time to improve my fitness and game," he added.
In his brief ODI career, Rahul has already batted in four different positions. The stylish right-hander though finds it comfortable in the top order.
"It has been challenging to bat at different positions. I have always batted at the top of the order from junior cricket and that is the most comfortable position for me," Rahul said.
"But in a team sport you need to be flexible and whatever the responsibility the team gives you need to put your hand up and do the best job you can. Unfortunately, the chances I have got in the middle order haven't gone my way," he explained.
Rahul scored 60 off 66 balls and forged a 110-run opening stand along with Ambati Rayudu (57) while chasing Afghanistan’s total of 252. However, the middle-order collapse dented India big time and the match eventually ended in a tie.
Reflecting on his performance, Rahul said: “I can’t really think about how many opportunities I get. Whatever chances I get I need to back my natural game. Coming in and out of the team, you don’t find your rhythm as soon as you walk in. Today I took my time in the middle.”
“I tried to go hard initially but I felt I wasn’t middling the ball too well. That’s when I told myself to face a few balls, play couple of overs, read the pace of the wicket. Get used to being in the middle again,” he explained.
Rahul also credited the Afghan bowlers for pulling things back after the dazzling start from India.
“We were playing on different wicket. Last two games were on the other side and the ball seemed to come on to the bat a lot better. Also I don’t want to take anything away from the Afghanistan bowers. They are a quality spin attack. A lot of credit should go to their bowlers and how not how the wicket behaved. We will have to see what kind of wicket we play on in the final,” he concluded.
(With PTI inputs)