Go In And Out Of The Team Is Never Easy, On Each Player: Rahul > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Going in and out of the team is never easy on any player: Rahul

KL Rahul finished the series as the second top run-getter, just 19 runs behind Virat Kohli's 183

KL Rahul finished the series as the second top run-getter, just 19 runs behind Virat Kohli's 183

KL Rahul scored two half-centuries, finishing as the second top run-getter in the three-match T20I series, just 19 runs behind Virat Kohli's 183. Rahul wasn't India's first-choice opener. It was on the back of Shikhar Dhawan's injury that Rahul was picked. That, despite tallying 313 runs in eight innings, averaging 52.16 with a strike-rate of 155.72 in Karnataka's Syed Mushtaq Ali title defence.

Rahul has been the perfect foil to Kohli's madness. Much unlike his skipper's initial struggles before upscaling to his A-game, Rahul has been clinical, converting his fluent starts to innings of substance. In Hyderabad, when India chased down 207, he converted his start to a 40-ball 62. He failed in Thiruvananthapuram but bettered his game in Mumbai in a delightful display of strokeplay and timing. Once Dhawan returns to the fray, Rahul could be pushed to the fringes again, as unfair as that seems, given that he has played himself in, and consistently, to make a strong case for his selection for the opening role in Australia 2020.

"I won't say I won't feel it (pressure) at all. Obviously, going in and out of the team is never easy on any player," said Rahul on Wednesday (December 11). "You take a little bit of time to get used to the international pressure and oppositions and there are no opposition where you can just walk in and score runs, so it's always difficult and this game is all about confidence and all about being in good rhythm and being in good touch. So again, having said that I can't really sit outside and not prepare, all I can do is sit outside and prepare and try to create match feel for myself and I did play a lot of first-class cricket, so not a lot changes. It is still T20 cricket, so my processes and me being out there in the middle and trying to do what I do best, trying to stay in that rhythm is important for me. I have got that opportunity to go back to first-class cricket and play some games, gain confidence and come here and just continue to do that.

"It's so important for a batsman or a bowler (or) for anybody for that matter to be in good rhythm, be out there in the middle... no matter how much you train or how many hours you put in at the nets, when you go out in the middle it is completely different. So it is important that everybody stays match ready and they have enough runs behind them as batsmen and as bowlers and have bowled enough be it first-class cricket or any other format, it is important that we keep playing cricket and be in the middle. That's helped me and I have always felt that's what helps a batsman to stay in good rhythm, not putting hours in the net, I rather be in the middle playing games.

"What's in my control is to keep putting up these performances whenever I get the opportunity and I am not at that stage where I worry about whether I'll find myself playing the next tournament or anything (like that). Whenever I get the opportunity I want to win games for my team and be out there in the middle and enjoy my batting, that's the place that I get most happiness right now -- being in the middle and hitting the ball from the middle of the bat, so whenever that opportunity comes, I'll like to grab and enjoy it."

After Hyderabad, at the Wankhede, Rahul joined hands with Rohit to share a record stand of 135 for the opening wicket. His innings of a 56-ball 91 was, however, shadowed by Kohli's raging 29-ball 70. But that didn't put Rahul off. "I love playing here at the Wankhede, any wicket that has pace and bounce is what all of us as batsmen love," Rahul said. "Wankhede is one such ground where we get to play our shots and play our shots freely and there is value for your shots and the crowd is amazing, electrical (electrifying)! You just want to be up there in the middle and entertain them, so we love coming here to the Wankhede."

Despite losing the series 1-2, when it came to boundary count and six-hitting, West Indies bossed the tally. After three games, West Indies have a total of 39 sixes, compared to India's 33, most of which came off the bat of Virat Kohli. When asked if the state of the game had now just come down T20 cricket being a battle of sixes, Rahul said: "Not really... look, each team has its own strengths and team India, we do have big six hitters and all of us can hit sixes. (We are) more skill and we still manage to get 220-240 and it is not the first time that we have scored 200-plus. We have done it so often and we need to stick to our strengths and what works best for our team and what we are all blessed with is skill and we will try to use that and back our strengths."

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