Mayank Agarwal (left) and KL Rahul share a light moment during their interaction. Pic: BCCI
Rahul led the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the last two IPL seasons. While he was the franchise’s best batter, PBKS failed miserably as a team. The 29-year-old decided to part ways with PBKS following IPL 2021.
In an interaction with Agarwal on bcci.tv, Rahul, who has been named vice-captain for the Test series in South Africa in Rohit Sharma’s absence, joked about his gray hair:
“I have started getting a few. I think that is from the IPL captaincy, not the responsibility here. But if it comes I will be happy.”Getting such a huge responsibility and having the honor to be the vice-captain of the Indian team, anyone would take that. No one would really worry about the gray hair.”
Rohit Sharma was appointed vice-captain for the three-match Test series in South Africa, replacing Ajinkya Rahane. However, the former was subsequently ruled out of the Tests due to a hamstring injury.
“Know which balls to score off” – KL Rahul’s advice to Mayank Agarwal
In Rohit’s absence, Agarwal is set to open the batting with Rahul in the Tests against the Proteas, which begins with the Boxing Day encounter in Centurion.
Asked to share tips on how to bat well in South Africa, Rahul told Agarwal that the spongy bounce is one of the challenges. He elaborated:
“The challenge here is there’s a bit of spongy bounce that the South African pitches have especially here in Centurion. I felt like you have to be a lot more patient. We know what a good fast bowling attack South Africa had always had. Having watched sitting on the sidelines last time I think Virat Kohli had a great series.”
Rahul added that if they can see off the new ball, batting in South Africa can be an enjoyable experience. The opener explained:
“Once you get through the new ball then it’s a country where you really enjoy batting once you get used to the pace and bounce of the wicket. The outfields are quick and challenge for us as openers will be those first 30-35 overs with the new ball.”Try to be patient and leave balls outside the off stump and know which balls to score off. Once we get used to that, we’ll really enjoy batting.”
Rahul missed India’s recent two-match Test series against New Zealand at home after sustaining a muscle strain on his left thigh. Grabbing the opportunity in Rahul’s absence, Agarwal scored 150 and 62 in the second Test in Mumbai.
It remains to be seen how the pair will perform in the Rainbow Nation.