IND v ENG 2021: KL Rahul says low scores in England T20I series didn’t impact his confidence

India’s wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul on Thursday said that he might have registered low scores in the T20I series against England but it never crushed his confidence.

KL Rahul opened for India in four of the five T20Is and returned with 15 runs with two back-to-back scores of 0. He was finally dropped from the series-deciding fifth T20I, with Virat Kohli opening with Rohit Sharma and scored 80* to take India to the win in the match and the series.

“I was confident, for a player to come this far, it’s only self-belief that gets him this far. I have always been confident in who I am as a player and who I am as a person. It was never an issue of confidence and self-belief. Like I said, sometimes it’s a sport, you try everything that is possible and which is in your control, still, it does not go your way.

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So you accept it and try to learn from the mistakes you have done. I was always confident, I knew in the nets and the practice sessions, I was batting well.

“If there was a real issue with my batting, then I probably would have been a little under-confident, scoring runs is important and it is everything for a player but for me, I also look at myself at training.

If I am preparing well and I am hitting the ball well, my mind is in the right place. Most of the things were going well, just the number chart was not going my way, which is disappointing. When I open the batting, the team looks upto the openers to give them a solid start and score runs, but it never impacted my confidence,” said KL Rahul while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Thursday.

KL Rahul came back strongly in the first ODI of the three-match series against England in Pune, scoring a quick-fire 62* helping India to 317/5, batting first.

Further elaborating on his recent form, Rahul said: “Everybody goes through this, I did not do anything different. I was not too stressed, as a player, you are disappointed. Sitting on the bench for a while, I did not play for 3-3.5 months so I was really excited about playing the white-ball series. Every player in the team wants to do well, sometimes it does not happen, you have to accept it.“

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“I asked myself if I prepared well, and when I thought about it, I did everything right, after that, if I did not score runs, then it’s fine, I accept that. Having said that, it does not mean that you do not feel disappointed. When you are playing at this level, you always want to perform, but you need to accept that it is not always going to go your way.

When things were going right, I did not question my process so I did not want to sit back and overthink after four-five bad performances, I was doing most things right which was in my control,” he added.

He was also asked whether Rishabh Pant’s batting form has made the competition for the wicket-keeper’s slot healthy.

Rahul said: “When you are part of this Indian team, you always know competition would be really high. You can never sit back and feel comfortable like you own your position. That’s the good thing, our team has high talent, players will always come in. As a player in this team, you always try to push yourself and try to get better with each passing day.”

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Answering whether it’s easier to start afresh in a new series, Rahul replied: “Like I said, the ODI format, playing at number five, I could take a little more time than I did maybe in T20s. Having spent a little time in the middle, having played a couple of good shots, the footwork got better.

When I walked in, Shikhar was batting well. I knew when Krunal walked in, I realized we had to stitch a partnership together, when you stop thinking about your own personal game and when there is responsibility in front of you, you start thinking clearer, having spent 20-25 balls in the middle, I started to feel more confident.”

(ANI Inputs)

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