The 30-year-old India National Cricket Team batter KL Rahul has revealed that the skipper Rohit Sharma has conveyed a clear message to him about batting at No.5 for the side in ODIs.
KL Rahul, who plays as an opener in T20Is and Tests, bats at No.5 for India in ODIs and in recent times has played as a wicketkeeper-batter. In the recently concluded, second ODI against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, he played a brilliant knock.
KL Rahul stitched together 75 runs in 119 balls with Hardik Pandya and then added 28 runs in 22 balls with Kuldeep Yadav to guide India to a victory in the match as well as the series. KL Rahul remained unbeaten and scored 64* runs off 103 balls, including 6 fours.
At the post-match presentation ceremony, Rahul talked about batting at No.5 for India National Cricket Team in 50-over cricket. He elaborated:
IPL 2023 | Sri Lanka Tour Of India 2023 | Dream11 Prediction | Fantasy Cricket Tips | Cricket Match Prediction Today | Cricket News | Cricket Live Score | New Zealand tour of India 2023 | Australia Tour Of India 2023
“(About batting at No. 5) One thing I really enjoy is that you don’t rush back to bat (compared to the role of an opener). You can put your feet up, have a shower, have a good meal and react to the situation. If the team requires me to bat at a certain strike rate I try and do it to the best of my ability. More often than not just try and do the job the team wants has been my mindset. At No. 5 you will be facing spin, I like the ball coming onto the bat. Ro (Rohit) is pretty clear that’s where he wants me to bat (No. 5) and conveyed that to me.”
I won’t say it was a flat wicket, but I can’t say it was impossible to bat as well – KL Rahul
Rahul said that the surface at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata was quite sporty. He said:
“I won’t say it was a flat wicket, but I can’t say it was impossible to bat as well. It was quite a sporty wicket. When we started I thought it was a 280-300 wicket. It wasn’t moving much, spongy bounce, apart from that there was not much.”
KL Rahul added that Sri Lanka put up a good fight in the match and put India under tremendous pressure. He said:
“We bowled really well to bowl them get out for 215. Again the start was brisk from the openers. They (Sri Lanka) put up a good fight. Got the early breakthroughs and put us under pressure. Challenging game, we can be proud of the way we fought.”
KL Rahul further spoke about handling leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga in the first two ODIs. He elaborated:
“We were batting first in Guwahati and the wicket was really good. We were trying to get the extra 20-25 runs, so no matter who the bowler is, you are looking to attack and things tend to happen. When I went in to bat last game we were in a comfortable position. We lost 4 wickets today, so it was important to soak in the pressure and ensure their main bowlers don’t get into the game early. We didn’t need to attack today.”