Enjoying leaving the ball outside off-stump : KL Rahul on his Test Cricket Success

Enjoying leaving the ball outside off-stump : KL Rahul on his Test Cricket Success

KL Rahul has adapted himself to enjoy the defensive side of batting all over again. Having been dropped from the Test team after a poor run through 2018 and 2019 – he averaged 22.23 over 15 Tests in that period, mostly played away from home – Rahul has fought back this year, scoring 461 runs in five Tests at an average of 46.10, including key centuries at Lord’s and Centurion that set up memorable India wins. He was the Player of the Match in both games. He has credited a change in mindset for this transformation, specifically being able to enjoy leaving the ball outside off stump, a batting technique he has upgraded significantly over the last year.

Need to be disciplined in Test Cricket – Rahul

“It’s something that I’m enjoying doing a lot, to be honest, and that’s the key to Test cricket – you need to enjoy leaving balls outside the off stump,” Rahul said after India wrapped up a 113-run win in Centurion. “I know we play a lot of one-day and T20 cricket and smashing the ball all over the park is exciting and it’s thrilling at the same time, but when you come to Test cricket you’ve got to learn to be disciplined and learn to play the waiting game and try and enjoy that sometimes.

“The mistakes happen when you get bored of doing the same things, but for me I’ve tried to enjoy leaving balls outside off stump, enjoy playing the defensive shots, enjoy tiring the bowlers out at times. That is what is expected out of me as an opening batter for the team.

“This year, since I’ve started playing Test matches again, since England, I’ve started enjoying doing those things, and yeah, had a good knock here this game, I’ll have to go back again to Wanderers and try and do the same thing all over again, which is exciting to me.”

One of my best Test centuries – Rahul on the Centurion hundred

Rahul now has hundreds in each of the six countries he has played Test cricket in – Australia, England, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. He rates the one at Centurion among his very best. He is also the first Indian opener to score centuries in three of the SENA countries – South Africa, England and Australia. He might get one in New Zealand too in the next scheduled test series there.

“I think right up there, in terms of the conditions and the wicket and how challenging it was,” he said. “I think this innings will be right up there for me because it took a lot of guts and a lot of determination and discipline to get this century and get my team to a winning position, so yeah, it’s right up there.”

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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