Asia Cup 2023: “Manager had to run to the hotel and get my stuff,” KL Rahul opens up on his last-minute selection vs Pakistan

Rahul was included in the XI after Shreyas Iyer suffered a back spasm.

KL Rahul | GettyKL Rahul produced a batting masterclass on his comeback to the Indian team after a long injury lay-off against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Asia Cup Super-4 clash in Colombo on Monday (September 11).

The wicketkeeper-batter was included in the XI after Shreyas Iyer suffered a back spasm and was ruled out of the marquee fixture.

Batting at No. 4, Rahul slammed 111* off 106 balls and shared an unbroken 233-run stand with Virat Kohli (122* off 94 balls) to help India rack up a mammoth 356/2 on the board.

After India won the game by a huge margin of 228 runs, KL Rahul revealed that head coach Rahul Dravid informed him that he would be playing the match against Pakistan, five minutes before the toss.

Rahul, who was out of action for quite a while due to thigh surgery and the subsequent rehabilitation, added that the manager had to rush to the hotel to bring his batting gear as he had not come prepared for the match.

"You know once you come back from injury, it's really hard and I have had a lot of injuries in last few years so it's been very tough but when you have been sitting out for five months, watching matches on TV, you are ready to do anything after returning. Really happy that I could do the job for the team," Rahul told the broadcasters.

"Five minutes before the toss, Rahul bhai came and told me that I might have to play because Shreyas got a back spasm. And I had not brought any batting gear, did not get my batting t-shirts, or skins. I had come only knowing that I would be carrying water and had brought only one full-sleeved t-shirt, so, at the last minute, the manager had to run to the hotel and get my stuff. But this has not happened for the first time so mentally, I know what to do when I am thrown in the ring," he added.

Coming to the match, Pakistan’s innings folded for a paltry 128 in just 32 overs. It was a listless batting performance from the Men in Green as no one managed to touch the 30-run mark. Fakhar Zaman top scored with 27.

Kuldeep Yadav starred with the ball for India, returning with the figures of 5 for 25 in his eight overs.


By Salman Anjum - 12 Sep, 2023

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