Indian batsman KL Rahul has admitted that the mantra of the batting unit is to play positive cricket and put the team in strong positions.
KL Rahul had a horrendous run in the T20Is series against England in Ahmedabad and was even dropped for the final match. However, batting at number five in the ensuing ODI series, he roared back to form with an unbeaten 43-ball 62 in the first ODI in Pune.
KL Rahul and debutant Krunal Pandya (58* off 31) featured in a sizzling unbeaten 112-run stand for the sixth wicket in less than ten overs to take the team to 317-5. The hosts ended up winning the game by 66 runs.
At a virtual press conference on Thursday ahead of the second game, KL Rahul said that the batting unit has been given the green light to play ‘positive’ cricket.
“Freedom comes with playing a lot more games, winning a lot more games together. In the last match, we were 200 for 5. But in the last ten overs, we thought we could make a comeback, and from that position get to 310-315. Those extra 40-50 runs that Krunal (Pandya) and I got, ended up being very crucial and made a difference (in the outcome of the game),” said KL Rahul.
KL Rahul further added that the more a batsmen gets acquainted with such situations, the more it helps them rise to the occasion, saying in this regard:
“When you play more games like that, you as players and as a team realise that you have the potential to do that even if the top order doesn’t fire. The talk obviously is about playing with a lot of freedom. When you play with that kind of freedom, you end up scoring 350-360 runs in a 50-over game. It is about figuring out how, in every situation, we can get the team past 300 or 350 runs, whatever is good on that particular wicket on that particular day. The more regularly we do that, the more confident we will get as a batting group and as a team.”
Virat Kohli backs KL Rahul despite horror run in T20I series
Before the first ODI of the three-match series against England, KL Rahul was under immense pressure to perform. He registered scores of 1, 0, 0 and 14 in the four T20I matches he featured in.
However, backing KL Rahul ahead of the first ODI, Indian captain Virat Kohli dismissed all the debate surrounding the out-of-form batsman as 'useless talk.'
"When I think of 'form and out-of-form', my mind goes to the song, kuch to log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna; chhodo, bekaar ki baaton mein kahin beet na jaaye raina (people will talk, their job is to talk; leave all the useless talks for we may lose the night in that),” Kohli said.
India and England play the second ODI of the three-match series on Friday.