ENG v IND 2021: WATCH – Upbeat KL Rahul hoping to turn things around in red-ball cricket; reflects on his warm-up game ton

Rahul's last Test appearance came during the 2019 tour of West Indies.

KL Rahul | BCCIKL Rahul has established himself in India’s limited-overs set-up in the last couple of years. However, he remains out-of-favour in the longest format of the game.

Having made his debut in 2014, Rahul has so far played 36 Tests, amassing 2006 runs at 34.58 with five centuries. His last Test appearance came during the 2019 tour of West Indies.

While Rahul is part of India’s oversized squad for the ongoing England tour, there is no surety whether he will get a game despite hitting a ton in the warm-up fixture against Select County XI last week.

WATCH - KL Rahul's gesture in the warm-up match wins hearts of Indian fans

However, the 29-year-old isn’t thinking too much about his selection or being dropped from the side.

"When I got dropped in 2018, I had to go back and discuss with coaches, watched a lot of videos to see where I was faltering and try to correct that," he told BCCI.tv. "I'm happy, time off from Test cricket (has helped). Like they say, failure makes you strong, makes you more focused and determined about the game. It's no different for me. I'm looking forward to the opportunities, trying to stay a lot calmer and more disciplined."

For the England Test series, Rahul is being seen as a middle-order option unlike the opener’s role that he performed earlier.

During the 2018 tour of England, the right-hander had scored just 150 runs in nine innings before slamming a spectacular 149 on the final day at The Oval.

Reflecting on that knock, Rahul said: "I remember The Oval being the best batting pitch we got in the whole series. At the back of my mind, I also knew it was the last game of the series and I hadn't done well in the series. So, it was only realistic that I would have probably not gotten a chance in the next series.

"I wanted to make it count, enjoy my batting. I had a sense of freedom in my head. I thought this may be my last opportunity to let me go and enjoy my game. Me and Rishabh, had we battled for an hour more, we could have won the game. That would have been historic, been the icing on the cake. But I'll still hold Oval very close (to my heart)."

On his second Test tour to England, KL Rahul is now more confident about his game.

"It's always good to get runs in the white kit. It's been a while since I'd played a red-ball game, so it was very nice to be out there, and score runs. It's important to stay patient and wait for my turn. I've been working on my game. It's good to get some time in the middle and score some runs,” he said referring to his century in the practice match.

"I've always been confident. I've never really worried about confidence. It's my self-belief that has gotten me so far, but it's about maintaining a calm head, learning from your mistakes. I'm just enjoying my game. I've made mistakes, I've learnt from them. I get stronger. Like I said this is a good opportunity again, hopefully fingers crossed I can do the job for the team," he further remarked.

During that warm-up game in Durham, Rahul had to don the keeping gloves as Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha were unavailable because of COVID-19 protocols.

"It's a good opportunity to test my body and wicketkeeping skills," he said. "The added responsibility made me really sore (laughs) but apart from that, it was good time out and it gives me good opportunity to stay in the game. Especially when it is a practice game, sometimes it can feel longer. But when you're wicketkeeping, you need to stay focused and you're in the game all the time. So, I quite enjoyed it."


By Salman Anjum - 27 Jul, 2021

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