India copped an absolute hammering in the ODI series against New Zealand, but despite the rather abysmal performance, KL Rahul emerged as the biggest positive for the side. He was in sensational form right throughout the T20I series and carried it to the one-dayers as well, taking to his new role as a wicket-keeper batsman seamlessly.
As per his childhood coach Samuel Jayaraj, Rahul spent a lot of time honing his craft and also speaking with players like AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli in order to improve his game. Ever since he has donned the wicket-keeping gloves, Rahul has been brilliant with the bat in the middle order and has added great balance to the Indian side.
“He (KL Rahul) spoke with a number of cricketers. He spoke with AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. Virat spoke with him and motivated him. I would give the credit to ABD and Virat. ABD understands him better because he is also a wicketkeeper-batsman. Virat showed confidence in him. Virat knew how talented Rahul is,” Jayaraj told TOI.
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The coach also added that Rahul was always a wicket-keeper and hence, this role came as a blessing in disguise for him. As per him, this new role allowed him to focus more, which in turn helped his concentration with the bat.
“He was always a wicket-keeper. Wicketkeeping for India has come as a blessing in disguise for him. As a wicketkeeper you have to keep vigil on all 300 deliveries behind the wickets. Wicketkeeping has helped him in his batting,” he added.
The coach pointed out that his stance is now very balanced and he looks to be at ease while facing deliveries. This has been one of the biggest changes in his game which has yielded bumper dividends. Rahul will now return home as he is not part of India’s Test squad that will take on New Zealand.