KL Rahul had a dream ‘debut’ as full-time keeper-batsman with a 52-ball-80 and three dismissals, is “enjoying every responsibility” thrown at him each day at the international level.
Rahul’s batting at No 5 and his ability to also open the innings and keep wickets decently has opened an option for skipper Virat Kohli in case the profligate Rishabh Pant fails to make his chances count in the run-up to the World T20 in Australia.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start. Each day I’ve been thrown different roles and responsibilities and I’m enjoying it for now,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Asked about his new experience of batting at crucial No 5 position, Rahul said: “Batting at No 5, I wanted to give myself a few balls, you know what the wicket is doing and Virat said that it’s coming on nicely. A few came off the middle, and I was confident I could score, and everything else faded away. Glad I got some partnerships going and played my role to the best of my abilities.”
About his role as a keeper, Rahul said that he had got positive feedback from left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who is a difficult bowler to pick under lights.
“Kuldeep told me my ‘keeping was good too. I grew up ‘keeping but I didn’t do it a lot for my first-class team, but in the last few weeks, I did keep for Karnataka (in the National One Dayers and T20s), so I have been in decent wicket-keeping touch. So hopefully, I can keep my spinners and fast bowlers happy.”