KL Rahul believes his spell out of the Indian playing XI for a considerable amount of time wasn't the reason for his poor form in the T20I series. The 28-year-old reckons he did all he could to be match-ready as the white-ball against England approached closer.
Since the commencement of the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Team India has played eight Tests on the trot, four each against Australia away and England at home. As KL Rahul was not among the first-choice batsmen in the longest format, he had to wait for his chance until the T20I series against England.
Many felt that KL Rahul's struggles in the T20I series were directly related to the fact that he had not played competitive cricket for nearly three months. However, in a press conference before the second ODI, the 28-year-old explained how he put the hard yards in the nets to prepare for the England series.
"For me, as a batsman, being in the middle and playing games gives me the best touch. Not getting much game time didn't play on my mind but I had to find some way or the other to get myself best prepared, be it training or net sessions," KL Rahul said.
Batting at the top of the order or lower doesn't make much of a difference KL Rahul
KL Rahul returned to form as he scored a brilliant 62 off just 43 balls in the first ODI against England in Pune. The elegant right-hander was scratchy at the beginning, but his timing improved as the innings progressed.
The 28-year-old's role at the top of the order in T20Is is to get his team off to flying starts. But since he bats at No.5 in the 50-over format, KL Rahul has the luxury of taking a few balls and getting himself set for a grandstand finish.
KL Rahul believes the time he spends in the middle is more important than his position in the batting order.
"The more time you spend in the middle, the more confident you start feeling. The more important thing is to get a few boundaries off the bat, that sort of calms you down a bit. So batting at the top of the order or in the lower-order doesn't make much of a difference if you are able to spend time at the crease," KL Rahul asserted.
Rahul repaid the faith shown in him by the team management through his performances at No.5. His versatility has certainly been an asset to the Indian team. But he will need to keep delivering at the spot, as there is an in-form Rishabh Pant waiting in the wings.
As far as T20Is are concerned, with Virat Kohli expressing his desire to open alongside Rohit Sharma, Rahul will need to pull up his socks and deliver consistently on the chances that come his way.