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KL Rahul says he will try his best to take Team India forward if made Test captain

Paarl (South Africa), Jan 18: KL Rahul has claims he hasn't given serious thought to the idea of being India's full-time Test captain but admitted that if chosen for the coveted job, he would try to take the "team forward" as best as he can.

"To lead the country is a dream come true for any player and something special that he will cherish for a long time. I am no different," Rahul, who is the stand-in ODI captain for the series against South Africa, said on the eve of the first match here.

"It will be exciting but I am not really looking for anything at this time but if it happens to come, I will try my best to carry Team India and Indian cricket forward to the best of my abilities," he added.

With Virat Kohli stepping down from Test captaincy after the team's 1-2 defeat in the Test series against the Proteas, Rahul, who led the team in Johannesburg in his absence, said that he didn't pay too much heed to his name cropping up as a possible successor till media reports started getting published.

"I hadn't given it a thought till the articles with names started doing rounds," Rahul said. "I had the opportunity to lead the Test team in Johannesburg and it was something really, really special, the result wasn't as expected but it was a great learning experience, which I will always be proud of."

Earlier on Monday (January 17), Rahul's deputy in the series, Jasprit Bumrah, also spoke on similar lines and said he too would be honoured if he gets the job of leading the Test side.

"If given an opportunity, it will be an honour and I don't see any player would say no and I am no different. Be it any leadership group, I always look to contribute however I can, to the best of my abilities," Bumrah replied to a query during a presser.

Apparently, Rahul and his white-ball regular captain Rohit Sharma are the frontrunners for the job but it will be interesting to see who will be the selectors' choice.

I am human, will make mistakes but learn from them too

When Rahul was reminded about his underwhelming captaincy record till date, which includes a Test defeat and only 12 wins in 27 IPL games, his first reaction was sarcasm which was not lost on anyone.

"Look, thanks for the stat man. It gives me a lot of confidence," he smiled while replying to the query. For Rahul, staying balanced in every aspect of life is the key.

"I take every game as it comes and I am not someone who gets worried or stays too happy. I try to remain balanced, with results. We did have a great chance to win the series after Centurion.

"It was a bit unfortunate and there is so much to learn," said Rahul, who had a forgettable Test captaincy debut at Johannesburg. For him, he will get better as he grows in the job.

"I played under great captains, Virat and all, and I can use that when I captain in more games for my country. I am human and I will make mistakes but I will also get better at the job. "That's where my mind is at. ODI is a fresh start and a great opportunity to captain my country," he added.

(With PTI inputs)

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Story first published: Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 19:45 [IST]
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