Team India opener KL Rahul. Pic: Getty Images
Team India opener KL Rahul has admitted that he feared he would never play Test cricket again until as recently as six to seven months ago. He is grateful to have got a new lease of life in the traditional format and wants to carry on the good work.
After being dropped from the Test team in 2019 due to poor form, Rahul did not play a single red-ball match for India until the Nottingham Test in August this year. With Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal ruled out due to injury, Rahul had a chance to open in England. He resurrected his Test career with some fine performances, scoring 84 in Nottingham and following it up with 129 at Lord’s.
Reflecting on his Test career ahead of the series against South Africa, Rahul admitted during an interaction with Agarwal on bcci.tv:
“6-7 months ago or a year ago, never though I would get to play Test cricket again. But yeah, things changed quite quickly.”
Not only has Rahul made a successful comeback to the Test squad, he has also been named vice-captain for the three-match Test series in South Africa in Rohit Sharma’s absence. Pleased with the added responsibility, Rahul stated:
“I am very happy and grateful that such a huge responsibility has been given to me. I am looking forward to giving my best like I always do and try and help the team achieve more success.”
With Gill and Rohit unavailable for the South Africa Tests, Rahul is set to open the batting with his Karnataka teammate Agarwal.
“Have bitter-sweet memories from Boxing Day” – KL Rahul
The first Test of the India-South Africa series will start on 26th December at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Rahul has had a unique connection to Boxing Day Tests since making his debut at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in 2014 and was then dropped for the Boxing Day Test in 2018, with Agarwal replacing him.
Sharing his Boxing Day memories, Rahul told Agarwal:
“I have bitter-sweet memories from Boxing Day to be honest. I debuted in a Boxing Day game in Australia, which did not go well. I lost my position again in a Boxing Day game to you. I was very happy for you but obviously I knew it was coming for me because I hadn’t put in the performances, which was okay. I felt like that’s the end for me.”
Rahul, however, expressed confidence of doing well in his latest Boxing Day challenge in Centurion. He asserted:
“I am lot different to who I was in Australia in 2018 and when I debuted. I am a lot more balanced in my approach towards the game. Excited and kicked about playing a Boxing Day Test in Centurion.”
India have won three Boxing Day Tests to date, with one of them being in Durban in 2010.