With injuries to Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar and question marks over vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane’s fitness ahead of the first Test against England, starting on August 4, KL Rahul might just have an outside chance to make a comeback to the Test XI after almost a two-year gap. The hundred that Rahul scored in the three-day first-class match against Select County XI a few days ago is sure to keep him in a good space.
Ahead of the five-match series, the right-hander said it was good to score runs in red-ball cricket.
“It’s always good to get runs in the white kit. It’s been a while since I’d played a red-ball game, so it was very nice to be out there, and score runs. It’s important to stay patient and wait for my turn. I’ve been working on my game. It’s good to get some time in the middle and score some runs,” Rahul told.
Rahul appeared to be in fine touch in the practice match, in which Ravindra Jadeja scored fifties in both innings but the rest of the Indian batsmen struggled.
“I’ve always been confident. I’ve never really worried about confidence. It’s my self-belief that has gotten me so far, but it’s about maintaining a calm head, learning from your mistakes. I’m just enjoying my game. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve learnt from them. I get stronger. Like I said this is a good opportunity again, hopefully fingers crossed I can do the job for the team,” he added.
Rahul also had to keep wickets as India’s wicketkeepers Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha were isolating due to Covid-19 concerns.
“It’s a good opportunity to test my body and wicketkeeping skills. The added responsibility made me really sore (laughs) but apart from that, it was a good time out and it gives me a good opportunity to stay in the game. Especially when it is a practice game, sometimes it can feel longer. But when you’re wicketkeeping, you need to stay focused and you’re in the game all the time. So, I quite enjoyed it,” said Rahul.
Rahul, who last played a Test match in September 2019 against West Indies, said he got back to the basics and worked on his technique when he was dropped from the red-ball side.
“When I got dropped in 2018, I had to go back and discuss with coaches, watched a lot of videos to see where I was faltering and try to correct that. I’m happy, time off from Test cricket has helped. Like they say, failure makes you strong, makes you more focused and determined about the game. It’s no different for me. I’m looking forward to the opportunities, trying to stay a lot calmer and more disciplined,” said Rahul.
“I remember The Oval being the best batting pitch we got in the whole series. At the back of my mind, I also knew it was the last game of the series and I hadn’t done well in the series. So, it was only realistic that I would have probably not gotten a chance in the next series,” he added.