'Humiliated' Rahul, Happy To Taste, After The Coup Of The Test Once > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - 'Humbled' Rahul happy to taste success after testing times

Rahul said the downtime after his talk-show controversy game him the chance to work on his game more.

Australia's plan was there for everyone to see. As they inserted India in to bat on a pitch that was much truer in bounce and pace than the one in Vizag, Australia knew what they had to do to restrict India's top order. The idea was basically cramp them for room and hope that they try and manufacture their shots and fall prey.

It wasn't a plan that was novel by any means. It was a run-saving option rather than a wicket-inducing one, and on a ground where, historically, games won by teams raking in loads of runs, there was plenty of merit in the thinking. But thinking and doing are two completely different things. Where the Australia really cranked up the intensity was by getting the execution as good as they could've realistically hoped.

In the powerplay, there were less than five balls that were pitched up to either Shikhar Dhawan or KL Rahul. And most of those deliveries invariably zoned in on the batsman's body. They pacers had the pace, too, and it took a while for India to get their bearings right. And much of it was owed to the sheer brilliance of KL Rahul.

The opener played only 26 balls, but was able to show how could get the better of the opposition at their own game. That trait is often the one that marks out a gifted player. There are those who can smash everything in their arc, but to beat the opponents when they were executing their plans to the T, that takes something.

Shikhar Dhawan was subjected to the same too. Try as he might, the left-hander could hardly muster a proper shot. India could score at less than run a ball before Rahul decided to use Australia's plans against them. A short ball from Jhye Richardson - until then three runs off nine balls - reared up and Rahul smashed the hook to the second tier. He knew what would follow, too. A fuller ball, and Rahul creamed the cover drive over the infield and into the stands.

The ploy to attack the body perhaps was borne out of Rahul executing this very shot many times in Vizag. He would try to hit every fullish ball over the top on the off side. It brought him enough runs, and put to an end his poor run of form in international cricket. The poor run was exacerbated, of course, by Rahul's appearance on a popular TV channel and his subsequent ban. It was an episode, Rahul felt has made him value his cricket a lot more.

"It has humbled me a little bit. I obviously respect the opportunity I have got to play for the country. It is the dream of every kid and I am no different. Just to value where I am and keep making the opportunities count, put my head down and keep working on my cricket," Rahul said when asked if the last few months have changed his outlook on the game and personal life.

When Rahul found himself away from the game, he used the chance to work things back up. He spent a lot of time with Rahul Dravid, speaking and working on his game, and slowly his confidence grew. His two 80+ scores for India A showed he was clawing his way back to where most expected he would be. And now, he finds himself back in the environs that he was regularly a part of not too long ago.

"It's nice to be back with the boys and be back in blue. I got some time off and worked on my game. Just happy that I have tasted a bit of success in the last two games and my batting has come out pretty well.

"It has been a hard time, no doubt. As a player, as a person everyone has to go through difficult times and it was my time to go through that. As I said it gave me the time to reflect on my game, on myself. I have always been somebody who takes things as it comes and I am just happy to be back here now."

It's quite evident now that he is. He just needs the performances to show that the team is, too. Vizag and Bengaluru were both good starts.

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