KL Rahul has not been a regular figure in the national squad but his recent show in the domestic circuit and the T20I series against West Indies makes him an attractive proposition for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Addressing the media, after India won the third T20I to clinch the series, Rahul acknowledged that there was constant pressure on him but he has learnt not to worry about finding a place in the side.
“I won’t say I don’t feel it (pressure) at all. Obviously, going in and out of the team is never easy on any player, you take a little bit of time to get used to the international pressure and oppositions and there are no opposition where you can just walk in and score runs, so it’s always difficult,” Rahul said.
“You can only hope (for being in the team). For me what’s in my control is to keep putting up these performances whenever I get the opportunity and I am not at that stage where I worry about whether I’ll find myself playing the next tournament or anything (like that). Whenever I get the opportunity I want to win games for my team and be out there in the middle and enjoy my batting. That’s the place that I get most happiness right now being in the middle and hitting the ball from the middle of the bat, so whenever that opportunity comes, I’ll like to grab and enjoy it,” he added.
The 27-year-old batsman wasn’t the first-choice opener and was only inducted in the squad as regular opener Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out due to injury.
Rahul also mentioned that when he’s out of the national squad, he tries to maintain his rhythm by playing plenty of first-class matches.
“This game is all about confidence and being in a good rhythm and good touch. I can’t really sit outside and not prepare, all I can do is sit outside and prepare and try to create match feel for myself and I did play a lot of first-class cricket, so not a lot of changes, it is still T20 cricket,” he said.
Asked how he dealt with the disappointment when he was dropped from the team, Rahul said he didn’t complicate his thoughts and just kept working on his game.
“I mean you can only complicate it (if) your thoughts are wrong, my thoughts are very simple. I prepare as hard as I can, put in the hours in the nets. When I get first-class cricket, I go back and play and try to improve my skill, batting and get some time in the middle,” he said.
“I know people feel it is easier said than done, it is as easy you make it. Life is (all about) what you put in your head,” he said.
Rahul stressed on the need to keep playing and be ready so that one can use the opportunities.
“It’s so important for a batsman or a bowler (or) for anybody for that matter to be in good rhythm, being out there in the middle, no matter how much you train or how much hours you put in at the nets, when you go out in middle it is completely different,” he said.
“It is important that we keep playing cricket and be in the middle, that’s helped me and I have always felt that’s what helps a batsman to stay in good rhythm, not putting hours in the net, I’d rather be in the middle playing games.”
– with PTI inputs