KL Rahul has taken a dig at his critics after scoring his fifth ODI hundred against England in the second game in Pune. The 28-year-old was at his fluent best and grew in confidence as his innings progressed.
Rahul was certainly not amused by the scrutiny he faced for underperforming in the T20I series against England. Although the elegant right-hander scored just 15 runs in four innings, he feels he was training as hard as he could and was trying his best to get back among the runs.
During an interaction after the end of the Indian innings, KL Rahul explained that his typical 'monk-like' celebration was a message to all his critics to stop the unfair criticism. He has certainly let his bat do the talking in the ODI series so far.
"It (the celebration) is just to shut out the noise, not to disrespect anyone. There are people out there who try to pull you down, at times you need to neglect them. So that's just a message to shut out that noise," KL Rahul said.
Really happy to build partnerships with Kohli and Pant: KL Rahul
KL Rahul had walked out to bat when India were not in the greatest of positions, having lost a couple of early wickets. However, he took his time to settle in and kept the scoreboard ticking alongside skipper Virat Kohli. The duo added 121 runs for the third wicket and laid a solid platform for the big-hitters to follow.
After Kohli's departure, KL Rahul took the anchor's role and let Rishabh Pant unleash himself. Another huge partnership of 113 runs saw India take a commanding position in their first innings.
More than a hundred of his own, Rahul was happy about forming crucial partnerships that helped the hosts post a mammoth 336-6.
"Really happy with what we have achieved after 50 overs. Scoring runs makes you confident, and that's what you want to do. Really happy I was able to build those partnerships with Virat and Rishabh. When me and Virat were batting, we needed anything around 300, so happy with this total," KL Rahul asserted.
India have put themselves in the driver's seat to seal the series with one game still to play. The visitors will need their openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy to fire if they wish to stand any chance of chasing this daunting total down.