KL Rahul expresses happiness in getting to play under MS Dhoni again
When KL Rahul made his debut at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground against the Australians, MS Dhoni was playing his final Test. Having been selected for the limited-overs trip to Zimbabwe, the 24-year-old shared his delight at playing under the veteran’s captaincy after some time.
In an interview with Deccan Chronicle, Rahul felt 'sad' about Dhoni's retirement from the longest format as he wanted to learn from the Ranchi cricketer’s vast experience. The right-hander also admitted that he was fortunate to share the dressing room with current Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli.
Rahul enthused, “I was sad when he (Dhoni) retired from Tests. I was hoping to play more Test cricket with him so that I could get to learn more about the game. He comes with so much experience, so many pressure games, ups and downs – learning from him would have been great. I am happy it is finally happening. I have the opportunity to spend some more time with him.”
The Karnataka batsman credited Kohli for being an inspirational character. He affirmed, “My two Test hundreds (against Australia and Sri Lanka) came with Virat. Whenever I have performed, he has been around. He oozes positive energy and inspires people to achieve things which they don’t think they can. His belief drives rest of the team. It is an absolute pleasure batting with Virat. I have been lucky to share the dressing room with him.”
After turning out for runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, Rahul was keen to establish a spot in all formats of the game. Looking ahead to the Zimbabwe tour, the wicket-keeper batsman asserted, “I am happy to play in all formats, thanks to my performances in the IPL.”
He added, “I am confident and positive in approach going into the series against Zimbabwe. I will like to keep things simple and do things I have been doing so far – strong basics, aggression; that’s how I have played my cricket.”
Though Rahul has represented India in 5 Tests, he would be competing against several other promising batsmen in the limited-overs team. The stylist believed, “I’ve had international exposure and I know the pressure involved. It is very different from domestic cricket. Having played Test matches before and being a part of the team for two or three series, I know how I can overcome early jitters which youngsters face on debut.”
His opponents have revamped their squad by sacking Head Coach Dav Whatmore and skipper Hamilton Masakadza while former South African pacer Makhaya Ntini has been named as the interim coach. When asked about those changed, Rahul quipped, “Honestly, I haven’t seen their team at all. I have no clue who I am going to be up against.”
India’s tour of Zimbabwe begins on June 11 and includes 3 ODIs and as many T20Is all of which will take place at the Harare Sports Club.