“If Team Requires Me To Bat At Certain Strike Rate…”: KL Rahul Opens Up

India’s batter KL Rahul has clarified his batting position in the ODI setup, stating that captain Rohit Sharma prefers that he bats at number five in the 50-over format. Rahul has performed exceptionally for India batting at the number five position. He has made the slot his own and has hit seven 50-plus scores in 15 innings while batting at number five.

The right-hander scored an unbeaten 64* to help India seal victory in the second ODI against Sri Lanka.

“At No. 5 you will be facing spin, I like the ball coming onto the bat. Ro (Rohit) is pretty clear that’s where he wants me to bat (No. 5) and conveyed that to me,” said Rahul during a post-match press conference.

The batter compared his role batting in the middle order to that of opening the inning and said, “One thing I really enjoy is that you don’t rush back to bat (compared to the role of an opener). You can put your feet up, have a shower, have a good meal and react to the situation. If the team requires me to bat at a certain strike rate I try and do it to the best of my ability. More often than not just try and do the job the team wants has been my mindset.”

Rahul shared his thoughts on the wicket used for the second ODI at Eden Gardens and said that the pitch was not an all-out belter but was also not unplayable.

“I won’t say it was a flat wicket, but I can’t say it was impossible to bat as well. It was quite a sporty wicket. When we started I thought it was a 280-300 wicket. It wasn’t moving much, with spongy bounce, apart from that there was not much. We bowled really well to bowl them get out for 215,” mentioned the wicketkeeper batsmen.

Rahul’s unbeaten 64 off 103 balls took India to a win after they were 86 for four in the chase of Sri Lanka’s 215.

He reflected on the hosts’ chase and lauded the Sri Lankans for putting them under pressure with quick wickets in the initial overs.

“Again the start was brisk from the openers. They (Sri Lanka) put up a good fight. Got the early breakthroughs and put us under pressure. Challenging game, and we can be proud of the way we fought,” expressed Rahul.

Shedding light on his innings, he said, “We were batting first in Guwahati and the wicket was really good. We were trying to get the extra 20-25 runs, so no matter who the bowler is, you are looking to attack and things tend to happen. When I went in to bat last game we were in a comfortable position. We lost 4 wickets today, so it was important to soak in the pressure and ensure their main bowlers don’t get into the game early. We didn’t need to attack today.”

KL Rahul scored an unbeaten half-century in his 50th ODI to help India claim a four-wicket victory in the second ODI against Sri Lanka here at the Eden Gardens on Thursday. India clinched the three-match ODI series with an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Sensible batting from KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya ensured the hosts recovered from the early setback to complete the chase. The wicketkeeper batsmen scored 64* runs while Hardik made 36 runs. Chamika Karunaratneand Lahiru Kumara picked up two wickets apiece to dent the Indian run-chase.

Fantastic bowling spells from spinner Kuldeep Yadav and pacer Mohammed Siraj combined to bundle out Sri Lanka for just 215 runs with debutant Nuwanidu Fernando scoring a fighting half-century.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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