Having impressed one and all with his consistency and solid defence in India’s last home season, opening batsman KL Rahul embarked on his maiden South Africa tour with plenty of expectations on his shoulder. However, the 25-year-old couldn’t quite prove his mettle against the lethal Proteas pace attack during the recently concluded Tests series.
While Rahul didn’t find a place in the playing XI in the first Test at Cape Town, he registered the scores of 10, 4, 0 and 16 in the two Tests he had featured in.
The elegant right-hander recently opened up about his performance in the rainbow nation and the difficulties one has to cope up while facing the new ball in South Africa.
“South Africa was a whole new challenge. We expected pace and bounce, but I did not expect that much seam movement. It was surprising. The movement, coupled with pace and bounce, is a deadly combination. You don’t want to be an opening batsman in these situations (laughs). But overall, it was a good learning experience," Rahul said according to Sportstar.
Following the Test series against South Africa, the Karnataka born batsman flew back to India as he wasn’t part of the national ODI squad. Meanwhile, Rahul has scored 3 and 22 in Karnataka’s first two fixtures in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy and he is keen to regain his form before leaving for South Africa on Thursday to join the Indian Twenty20 squad.
“I would have liked to spend more time in the middle here, in order to make the adjustment to the shorter format. I hope to bat tomorrow (against Punjab),” Rahul said.
During the recently held IPL auction, Rahul was picked by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping INR 11 crores. As the sole wicketkeeper-batsman in the squad, he is expected to bear some serious workload for the franchise.
“I like the responsibility, and to be in a position where a team expects a lot from me. Kings XI Punjab has me as the sole wicketkeeper; they don’t need anyone else. That is how the franchise feels, and that’s how I feel too,” KL Rahul concluded.