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KL Rahul has worked hard to play match-winning roles

SportsCricketKL Rahul has worked hard to play match-winning roles
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“Strike rates are overrated.”

this is a KL Rahul The quote that gets played up often on social media, even though the context in which it was said is easily overlooked.

But if there’s an innings he can choose to highlight what he really meant – not that he needs to – Rahul need look no further than his match-winning knock of 75 not out in the match. 1st ODI against Australia in Mumbai.

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Rahul went on to blow away India’s top order in a short chase of 189. At 16/3 after the fifth over, India needed a rescue act. The pitch had swing, zip off pitch and lateral movement, elements that make Mitchell Starc Dangerous.

There couldn’t be a tougher comeback than this. Rahul at No.5 has been prolific as a finisher in ODIs over the past two years, but coming into this series, Rahul was under immense scrutiny of his Test form, which eventually led to him losing his spot to Shubman . Gill for the last two Tests

However, despite Ishan Kishan being included in the starting XI in Mumbai, he was played as the frontline wicketkeeper, a sign of the confidence of the team management. All told, this was not a role that came about due to Rishabh Pant’s unavailability.

Rahul was also favored to work with Pant in the mix. It was, in a way, just a reiteration of the management’s faith in Rahul’s abilities. Rahul after all who now sails It did the same thing two decades back for team balance.

The day began with a spectacular catch diving to his right to dismiss Steven Smith. Rahul moved quickly to cover enough ground to his right before diving in to pouch Smith’s slash and celebrated wildly, showing the satisfaction of missing the catch. However, the awkward landing may have caused a twisted neck muscle or two, something that became apparent later when he went out to bat.

Rahul started the scoring with the first ball of a cover drive at the right time to avoid a hat-trick from Starc, but soon found himself challenged by Sean Abbott’s away-swingers. But Rahul had decided that he would not fall for anyone’s trap.

At the first sign of the bowler dropping short, Rahul cut it out. According to ESPNcricinfo’s ball-by-ball logs, it was a shot that he made the most of during his 91-ball innings, in which he had an impressive control percentage of 83.

“I saw three quick wickets and Starc was really swinging the ball. When he gets the ball back in, he is a dangerous bowler,” Rahul told Star Sports after India’s five-wicket win. Is.” “So I just wanted to bat in the first 15-20 balls and move on from there.

“I wasn’t really looking for runs, it wasn’t a big total, so I just wanted to give myself time, play normal cricket shots and not go looking for runs. Few boundaries early on. calmed my nerves a bit and let me go.”

Just as Rahul started to settle down, he saw Gill go off on a loose drive at backward point. At 39 for 4, India were in dire need of a partnership. Rahul managed to find that support, first adding 44 runs with Hardik Pandya and then putting on an unbroken 108-run partnership. Ravindra Jadeja, who was playing his first ODI in eight months. Rahul got a slice of luck on 41 when an outside edge flew over Smith in the slips. Other than that, it was a flawless knock.

“Whoever I batted with, the point was that there is a bit of help in the wicket, but we can’t get into our shell and want to get a certain bowler out,” Rahul said. ,[The mantra was to] Just be positive in your mind and if the ball is there and if you can play proper cricket shots and get some runs, then only you can put the pressure back on the bowlers.

“We didn’t want to go into our shell and keep defending. We wanted to play hard, and put away the loose balls. We talked about what shots we could play on this pitch. We get width, we can play.” Cut and if you are good with your footwork, you can still make some runs and survive and get some runs. The guys I played with played beautifully, it was fun batting with Hardik and Jadeja.

Rahul was particularly happy to bat with Jadeja. They ran well, and a left-right combination that could often keep bowlers off their line played into India’s hands. Adam Zampa might have prepared for the match-up with Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav, but here he had to contend with the left-right duo of Jadeja and Rahul. He gave six wicketless overs for 37 runs.

“As soon as a left-hander came in, I got some loose balls too and that happens with the best bowlers,” Rahul said. “A left-handed batsman helped at that time. He is in great form and has batted beautifully. He has played a lot of cricket and knows what to do in that situation. We enjoy batting together. He Runs fast, and I like that.” Someone who can run fast, hit hard and put pressure on the fielding team and the bowlers. I’m glad we could do it today.”

However, nothing brought a bigger smile on Rahul’s face than when he was asked about his wicketkeeping. did he enjoy it?

“Yeah, I did,” he smiled. “When there is bounce, I really enjoy keeping. On low wickets, it is physically a challenge. I enjoy playing here at Wankhede. It was fun. The ball was doing something but the ‘keeper. ‘ As in, I was always in the game.”

“The edge was coming, and some of the balls were down leg. On wickets where there is help, you know the fast bowlers are going to try that little bit extra and spray the ball here and there. That made me dive And got a chance to perform.” My keeping skills which was fun.”

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