Kolkata . After scoring an unbeaten 64 to guide India to a thrilling four-wicket win over Sri Lanka, KL Rahul said the dual role of wicket-keeping and batting at No.5 in ODIs has helped him understand his game a bit better. Chasing 216, India were in trouble at 86/4. That’s when Rahul came on the field and batted brilliantly to give India an unassailable 2-0 lead.
In his unbeaten 64 in Kolkata, Rahul played 60 dot balls and hit six fours, while taking 34 singles and three doubles. It was an innings in which Rahul had to stay alert and then play with a calm head and successfully chase the target with 40 balls to spare.
That said, obviously I’ve done it for a few years now. From the end of 2019, in a few matches throughout 2020 and 2021, I played this role of batting in the middle order. This is nothing new. The team has given me time to settle into the position and role.
He further said, when you have the support of your captain and coach, it helps you to focus and bring your 100 per cent concentration on what the team is expecting and what they want you to do. Yes, it is different from what I do in other formats. It helps me understand the game more.
In 15 innings at number five, Rahul, once seen as a backup opener, now averages 54.25 and has a strike rate of 102.23. Rahul has reminded everyone what he has achieved with his unbeaten 64 in Kolkata apart from brilliant keeping. Behind the wicket, he admitted that a lot of hard work had to be done.
Rahul and Hardik Pandya withstood the initial pressure and then took advantage of loose deliveries from the Sri Lankan bowlers to put on a crucial 75 off 119 balls. While Hardik was out. Rahul shared an unbeaten 30 and 28 runs partnership with Akshar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav to help India take an unbeatable 2-0 lead on the series.
In the years since his ODI debut in 2016, Rahul has played multiple roles – opening the batting, batting in the middle order as well as wicketkeeper. Talking about his ODI career so far, Rahul felt that his efforts at different venues and conditions showed that the think tank trusted him for the team.
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