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KL Rahul gets thumbs up from Kuldeep, watches videos of Steve Smith, AB de Villiers

KL Rahul opens up to wicketkeeper batsman role

Rajkot, January 18: KL Rahul had a dream 'debut' as full-time keeper-batsman with a 52-ball-80 and three dismissals, is "enjoying every responsibility" thrown at him each day at the international level.

Rahul's batting at No 5 and his ability to also open the innings and keep wickets decently has opened an option for skipper Virat Kohli in case the profligate Rishabh Pant fails to make his chances count in the run-up to the World T20 in Australia.

"I couldn't have asked for a better start. Each day I've been thrown different roles and responsibilities and I'm enjoying it for now," Rahul said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Asked about his new experience of batting at crucial No 5 position, Rahul said: "Batting at No 5, I wanted to give myself a few balls, you know what the wicket is doing and Virat said that it's coming on nicely. A few came off the middle, and I was confident I could score, and everything else faded away. Glad I got some partnerships going and played my role to the best of my abilities."

About his role as a wicketkeeper, Rahul said he had got positive feedback from Kuldeep Yadav, a difficult bowler to pick under lights. "Kuldeep told me my 'keeping was good too. I grew up 'keeping but I didn't do it a lot for my first-class team, but in the last few weeks, I did keep for Karnataka (in the National one-dayers and T20s), so I have been in decent wicket-keeping touch. So hopefully, I can keep my spinners and fast bowlers happy," he said.

"I get to learn so much about batting as an art when I get to bat at different positions, new ways to counter the bowlers, new ways to adjust to the situations, I don't look at it is as pressure, just enjoy it," said Rahul.

"It's a great challenge, pretty confident about my skills. Any role (in the India team) is just a blessing, that's how I look at it. I am more than willing to bat at any position for the team. It is a team game and anybody would do it for the team," Rahul added.

Talking about his preparation for the new role, Rahul said he spoke to middle order batsmen such as Virat Kohli and watched the videos of Steve Smith, AB de Villiers and Kane Williamson.

"I watched the videos of players like AB de Villiers, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson. Only thing is I adjusted my game to it. My game reading has also become much better," he said.

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Story first published: Saturday, January 18, 2020, 11:19 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 18, 2020
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