How Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers helped shape KL Rahul 2.0
NEW DELHI: Either former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly or the current Indian cricket captain virat Kohli , his Rahuls have done wonders every time the team needed them. Rahul Dravid , the unconditional batting of Indian Test, not only frustrated the attacks of world-class rhythm, but also kept the three sticks for a long time. Now, the Indian team has KL Rahul who has been phenomenal with his new double role: that of the batter and the goalkeeper.
In the absence of first choice wicket-keeper in limited overs formats, Rishabh pants , who suffered a concussion during the first ODI against Australia in Mumbai earlier this year, KL Rahul was handed the wicket-keeping gloves. And, the Karnataka lad grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
In the three-game ODI series against Australia, Rahul scored 146 runs at an average of 48.66, including a fifty. He signed the series with 12 limits and three six to his credit. In the second ODI, he inflicted a blow and took two captures after Pant suffered a concussion and did not leave the field.
Rahul was once again given the responsibility of maintaining full-time wicket in the limited overs series (T20I and ODI) against New Zealand.
In the five-game T20I series against Kiwis, Rahul continued his streak rich in form and finished the series as the best race racer: 224 races in 5 games with an average of 56, including two half centuries.
Continuing with its sublime touch with the willow and the good gloves behind the stumps. The 27-year-old scored 204 runs in three ODIs against New Zealand. It broke a century and fifty to an amazing average of 100, including 12 four and 8 six.
In ODI cricket, Rahul seems to have made the number 5 his own.
So what is the secret behind Rahul 2.0?
His childhood coach Samuel Jayaj, who started coaching Rahul when he was 8, credits skipper virat Kohli and South Africa legend AB de Villiers for its transformation
“He (KL Rahul) spoke with a number of cricketers. He spoke with AB de Villiers and virat Kohli. Virat spoke with him and motivated him. Apart from ABD and Virat, some more former cricketers spoke with him. But I would give the credit to ABD and Virat. ABD understands him better because he is also a wicketkeeper-batsman. Virat showed confidence in him. Virat knew how talented Rahul is. Watch KL’s stance closely, it is very very balanced. He looks calm before the ball reaches him. That’s one of the changes he has brought into his game, ”Jayaraj told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
KL Rahul - a born wicket-keeper
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One criticism that young Rishabh pants has faced is his erratic wicket-keeping skills. Rahul's ability to keep well, while being solid with the bat has solved a big problem for the Indian team management.
“He was always a wicket guardian. Ticket sales for India have been a blessing in disguise for him. As a wicketkeeper, you must monitor the 300 deliveries behind the wickets. Wicketkeeping has helped him in his batting, ”said Jayaraj.
“When I was a child, I used to ask him to stay with the wickets. Wicketkeeping helps you with concentration. You just look at the ball and then move your hands and feet accordingly. This is how Rahul has become a good hitter, the coach said.
Hungry for a comeback
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Either its form or controversy after its appearance with Hardik Pandya In a popular chat program, Rahul was depressed but not outside, he insisted on leaving a mark once again on the international fold.
“He worked very hard and all that is paying off right now. Its fundamentals and techniques have been strong. He wanted to play where his team required it and worked for it. I've seen him practice day and night. He prepared for each situation. By situation, I want to say how to play in the first 10 overs of a match and in the last 5 overs of the match. In the last 10 months, he worked very hard on some of the shooting selections. He obtained the rest due to his poor form and took advantage of that rest well. I would say that happened forever. That is the second version of Rahul, I mean it is Rahul 2.0 (that is) in front of us, Jayaraj told TimesofIndia.com.
“Not only batting, he also started working on his wicket maintenance. He kept the wickets for Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in the knockout stages and that experience again helped him on the international stage. I didn't expect the challenge of ticket sales, but I was ready. When the opportunity came, he grabbed it with both hands. He had set a goal and was hungry and was determined to achieve it, ”said Jayaraj, based in Mangalore.
A man for any position
With Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan opening the entrances, Captain Kohli arriving at No. 3 and Shreyas Iyer in No. 4 in the ODI series against Australia, Rahul was asked to hit No. 5 in the second ODI in Rajkot. Karnataka's boy was declared a Party Player for his magnificent 80 of 52 balls.
In the first ODI against Australia he had hit number three and scored 47.
In the third ODI in Bengaluru, Rahul opened with Rohit Sharma.
In the three-game ODI series against New Zealand, Rahul hit the bat at No. 5 and scored 88 not in the first ODI and then a brilliant 112 in the third ODI.
In the 5-game T20 series against New Zealand, Rahul opened the tickets.
We were in constant contact. He said he was ready to hit in any position for India. I told him that batting positions are just numbers: 1,2,3,4,5. I told him to go and enjoy your batting wherever you have the chance, said the coach.
“You can be a good cricketer over time, but there are some players born with good techniques. Rahul is one of them. He is really blessed. I am from an old school. I have seen Mr. Sunuil Gavaskar and Mr. GRV (Gundappa Viswanath) play. They were gods of the techniques. That is what I taught Rahul. I told him that if you have basic and technical knowledge, you can change your game at any time, the coach added.
“After the series he called and said, coach, I am enjoying my batting. I laughed and said, enjoy child, you have to go a long way. You are the best, ”Jayaraj signed.