"That's The Key To Test Cricket": KL Rahul Reveals Secret Behind Consistent Performances
South Africa vs India: KL Rahul, believing in his philosophy of "less is better", curbed his once-infamous impetuosity, left a lot of deliveries outside the off-stump and and waited for his moment.
- KL Rahul scored 123 runs in first innings of Centurion Test
- India beat South Africa by 113 runs in Centurion Test
- India have never won a Test series in South Africa
The more one leaves, the more one gains has been his mantra since the start of England tour, which was some sort of a second coming in Test cricket for KL Rahul. His talent was always unquestionable but translating it into consistent performances was an issue before the tour of England, where a classy ton at Lord's changed it all for the Karnataka man. And then Centurion happened where Rahul, believing in his philosophy of "less is better", curbed his once-infamous impetuosity, left a lot of deliveries outside the off-stump and and waited for his moment.
Rahul has understood it the hard way. Like in life, in cricket too, sometimes it is better to let go. In this case those deliveries on the corridor of uncertainty.
"It is something that I am enjoying doing a lot at the moment. That's the key to Test cricket as you need to enjoy leaving balls outside the off-stump," said the 'Player of the Match', who set up India's first win at the Centurion with a day one hundred.
"I know we play a lot of one day and T20 cricket, smashing the ball all over the park is exciting and thrilling at same time, but when you come to Test cricket, learn to be disciplined, learn to play the waiting game." The economy of everything is not lost on Virat Kohli's deputy for the series against South Africa.
He also understands that repetition could be boring but that's a sure-shot recipe for success.
"Mistakes happen when you get bored of doing the same thing. I enjoyed playing defensive shots, tiring the bowlers this year since I started playing Test matches again in England," said Rahul, reiterating that even defending could be beautiful.
So where does this century rank among his six overseas hundreds? "Right up there in terms of conditions and wicket how challenging it was, I think this innings would be right up there for me. It took a lot of guts and determination and discipline to get a century and get my team to a winning position. So yeah, it's right up there," he was frank in his assessment.
Would want to stand in slips till Bumrah plays cricket. Watching Jasprit Bumrah bowl from close quarters is a blessing and Rahul doesn't want to trade that for anything.
"I would love to be there till Jasprit Bumrah is playing cricket. That's the best position to be in. (laughs), slips are a great position to be in and Shami, Bumrah and (Mohammed) Siraj are bowling, so I'd love to stay there," he said.
While he is happy standing in the slip cordon, what he utterly dislikes is facing these blokes in the nets, as they make him uncomfortable with their pace and skills.
"To play our bowlers in the nets is more difficult, because especially for me or for many batters, we don't enjoy that much playing in the nets and add to it -- these people frighten us (laughs)...
"... and they don't treat us as teammates when they see us in the nets. They are very, very competitive people. So yes, we are very lucky to have such quality in our bowling line-up," he said.
Rahul Dravid brings calm in dressing room, there cannot be a better teacher than Rahul Dravid to teach them the art of batting, according to his namesake.
"You talk about the art of batting, which you know, we are all very lucky to have a guy like him in the dressing room and he (Dravid) has brought a lot of calm and balance into the dressing room," Rahul said.
But he is a task master too and gets their all at training sessions.
"The preparations, he focuses on that. He (Dravid) made us really work hard at the training, at the nets, we enjoyed that period. It is a great opportunity for us to learn and get better as cricketers and as people, so that is a great thing for us."
"I had a good knock here and I have to go back to Wanderers and try doing the same thing again," he summed it up.