Indian stand-in skipper KL Rahul said that whenever he has captained the side he has always tried to be himself. He believes that it’s unfair to compare him with MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma as their numbers and achievements speak for themselves.
India is all set to lock horns with Zimbabwe in the three-match ODI series, to be played between 18th August to 22nd August. The Indian squad will be led by KL Rahul, with Shikhar Dhawan being his deputy.
Rahul was originally not named in the squad and Dhawan was originally slated to captain India during this tour, but the right-hander later passed the fitness test and was added to the squad as the leader of the team.
This will be the second time Rahul will lead Team India in ODIs. His first outing as a skipper in the 50-over format was not impressive as India suffered a whitewash under him against South Africa.
Rahul, who impressed many with his leadership in IPL 2022, will also be making his comeback after being out for a long time.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the first ODI against Zimbabwe, KL Rahul said that he’ll not look to copy anyone else and will give his best to be himself. He admitted that he’s not even close to MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma in terms of captaincy.
“I can’t go out there and be someone else. Then I won’t be fair to myself, to the team, or to the game. I try and be myself and let the other players be themselves as they want.
“I can’t even compare myself with these guys (MSD and Rohit Sharma), their numbers and achievement are far greater in terms of what they have done for the country, and I don’t think any name could be taken in the same breath," KL Rahul said.
Rahul said that he has learned a lot by playing under the leadership of the aforementioned players and has picked good qualities from them.
“… And this is my second series as captain, and obviously, I have played under them and learnt a lot from them as a player. As you have been playing for so many years, you will pick some good qualities from these guys,” he said.
Rahul said that it’ll be challenging for him to manage the players and bring the best out of them as some are returning from injuries.
“It will be (challenging) for any leader as to how good you are in managing your players and bringing the best out of them. Everybody is in a different place in their careers, and few of us have come back from injuries, few have played a lot of cricket and how do you manage their bodies and how do you manage mindset and nervousness of guys who are coming after a long break, and those are challenges as a leader," he said.
With senior players being rested, it’ll be an opportunity for young players to stake their claims and make their cases strong for the T20 World Cup 2022. It remains to be seen what combination will India go with.