10 facts you need to know about Indian cricket's next big thing KL Rahul
Indian youngster KL Rahul is making his talent count having notched up two Test centuries already, playing in just his fourth game. The 22-year-old has long been earmarked as the next big thing in Indian cricket and the Karnataka lad has already shown that he can live up to the billing.
Both his Test centuries have come under pressure conditions and have been a true test of character. After a horror debut against the mighty Australian side at the MCG, he came back strongly at the very next opportunity smashing a brilliant century at the SCG. He also got India out of a precarious position on Day one of the second Test match against Sri Lanka with a well calculated knock of 108.
He has been scoring runs for fun in the domestic circuit and has set high goals for himself in the future. Here are 10 things you need to know about the talented youngster.
1. The story behind the name
KL Rahul could very well have been KL Rohan. His father, KN Lokesh, a professor at the National Institute of Technology in Karnataka, was a big fan of Sunil Gavaskar and wanted to name him after the original master blaster’s son. But he mistook Rohan Gavaskar’s first name as Rahul.
2. Rahul Dravid is his idol
The two share the same name, but that's not where the connection ends. The 22-year-old looks up to Rahul Dravid as his idol and his batting style has often drawn comparisons with the batting legend.
“As a youngster, it is very easy to complicate things. All he (Dravid) tells me is that cricket is a very simple game and to keep it that way. Work hard on your technique and that is like oxygen,” Rahul said, as reported by Criclife.
Dravid himself has praised the youngster on more than one occasion.
"He is a talented young batsman, one among the few we have in Karnataka at the moment. He is scoring runs, which is a good thing; the key for someone like him is to keep scoring runs this season, especially in Ranji Trophy. This upcoming season will be big for him. He looks very good and has scored a lot of runs. He did well in the one-day tournament, the Deodhar Trophy, last year," Dravid told Rediff.com in September 2013.
“Happy for him and I hope he does well. He is in good form and has the technique to do well,” he said, according to The Hindu, after Rahul earned his first call-up to the Indian Test team.
3. KL Rahul or Lokesh Rahul?
His full name is Kannaur Lokesh Rahul, and he is often referred to by his last two names. However he himself would like to be known as KL Rahul.
4. Rahul was born in Mangalore
He is pretty much a Bangalorean now, but he was born in Mangalore and has often described his first coach as one of the most crucial persons in his development as a cricketer.
“Mr Jayaraj, my coach from Mangalore, is always there for me. He is one person I trust blindly. He watches all my games and we always talk after matches. You know, nobody is perfect, and I always keep making mistakes. He is always there to recognise it and tell me immediately. I am very lucky to have a coach like him,” Rahul told, according to IBNLive.
5. Rahul started out young
"Rahul started playing cricket at the age of 11. He was good at both studies and cricket,” Rahul’s father Dr. Lokesh told OneIndia. “He played volleyball, hockey, football at school, but cricket was his priority."
He moved to Bangalore at the age of 17 and joined Bangalore United Cricket Club, whom his idol Rahul Dravid also played for and later in the first division league with Vultures Cricket Club. He has represented Karnataka at the Under – 13, 15, 17, 19 and 23 levels before featuring for the Ranji team.