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Is KL Rahul The Overseas Performer Team India Are Looking For?

August 6, 2016


The ability to sense the slightest of opportunities, seize them and make the most of what one has been presented with is a trait any youngster would dream to have, especially someone who is searching for the roadway towards his establishment at the international arena. That is where the Bangalore born KL Rahul has managed to do reasonably well with his early outings in national outfit. While he has merely been a reserve opener in the squad since he first started opening for India in Australia back in January 2015, he has occasionally come up with the tricks of the trade to keep pushing himself into the contentions for playing XI.

People might say he was lucky to find someone or other getting injured in the middle of a series every now and then. But at the end of the day it was he who made those chances count which otherwise could so easily have ended up being squandered. Sometimes it’s always inevitable that in the next match you will have to make way for the one whom you replaced even if you score a ton in the match you are playing. The moment it starts playing at the back of your mind it also starts affecting your game. Despite being there in almost every game he has played so far, he has achieved a unique feat that nobody else had before. Smashing 3 hundreds in 3 different parts of the world inside the first 6 tests since debut is anything but easy and to do so under such circumstances speaks volumes for his mental strength.

Rahul’s conversion rate has been a highly anticipated aspect of late. I however don’t want to infer too many things from that just because to my personal opinion it’s a little too early to make such a call. Rather I would like to highlight a few other things which I felt likable about the first Karnataka batsman to slam a triple hundred in first class cricket.

About the hundreds: I have mentioned about the circumstantial adversities which he had to battle out on his way to score the three test centuries he has. But what makes those even more special is that all the 3 hundreds came away from home. And mind you, he is yet to play his first test on home turf. The first of the three hundreds came against a very good team having an accomplished bowling unit. Scoring runs against Australia in Australia is always appreciated. Then as he hit his second ton in Sri Lanka, it was also a very important knock in the context of the series. The latest in contrast, may not have come against the best bowling line up but certainly on a wicket which was difficult to bat on. It goes to show that he is all set to handle the stage even when put under the frequently altered conditions.

Conventional style of batting: What could bring KL Rahul a bright career ahead of him as a test player is his old fashioned batting. He has got all the basics of the game staring from how to meet the ball right under his head while offering a shot ending at knowing exactly where your off stump is while leave the ball. He knows the art of playing with soft hands and more importantly knows when and how to go after the bowling, which shots to pull out against a given field-set.

An all-format player: Rahul’s transition across different formats has been smooth. Apart from proving his essence as a test opener he has also done a magnificent job his team with the bat in the latest edition of IPL. Afterwards, when he went to Zimbabwe, he became the first Indian to score an ODI hundred. It is good for the Indian team that he has the zeal of spreading his exuberance in all versions of the game.

Involvement that comes natural to him: He is the one who wants to spend more and more time in batting. While he is famous for stretching his net sessions with the bat, many of us have also observed its extension when he is fielding. It’s not occasional to see him leaning onto an imaginary off drive or shadowing a forward defensive stroke. Generally the openers do this with their opponents 8 or 9 down but Rahul does this ever so frequently irrespective of time.

Setting up the team combination a captain wants: Even if Rahul doesn’t open and take over the one-down slot from Pujara instead, it provides the team a few extra options. That’s because not only when he defends he looks an assured player technically as well as temperamentally but also blossoms when he gets going. He can thus take either of the anchor’s or aggressor’s roles accordingly. It does set up the tone fpr the captain nicely allowing him to have a go at an extra bowler who might have a huge role to play for any team that intends to play for results.

Ability to bat for long periods: Being a top order batsman your prime responsibility is to stay at the crease as long as you can. For India, with their most of the famous away wins, the key had been to put enough runs on the board before they could close out the games by bowling their opposition out twice. That’s where the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid or Sehwag’s big hundreds or double hundreds immensely came into the act. Indian players of late however haven’t done much pretty in terms of scoring real big hundreds. With the kind of form one would expect Virat Kohli to step up into this matter, but on some day at some point of time when his miraculous run comes to an end (he is a human being after all) India will really miss those daddy hundreds. Perhaps with Rahul’s all the aforesaid attributes coupled with the ability to bat for long hours could make him the player to watch out for outside the sub-continent. He in domestic circuit has shown what he is capable of doing in this regard and has showcased some of his glimpses at the international level too. If he can kick on from here, in years to come he may well become a strong candidate to fill the shoes of his antecedents.

  1. Sakshi permalink

    Well written

  2. Well written…

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