Rahul enjoying responsibility

Rahul enjoying responsibility

Rahul enjoying responsibility

 VVS Laxman couldn't conceal his joy after Sunrisers Hyderabad snapped up KL Rahul for Rs 1 crore in one of the fiercest biddings for an uncapped Indian player in the IPL Player Auction this February here. 


The former India batting star rates Rahul highly and it wasn’t surprising to see him goad Hyderabad into buying the Karnataka youngster. While the right-hander, who top-scored for Karnataka in their triumphant Ranji Trophy campaign, hasn’t scorched the turf in his six outings for the Shikhar Dhwan-led side, he has shown more than just glimpses of his potential.

“The Sunrisers Hyderabad will reap the rewards of who is a very exciting young talent,” said coach Tom Moody about the batsman who has been promoted to bat at three after some cameos lower down the order. His composed innings of 46 against Mumbai Indians in Dubai won him many accolades.  

“I have always enjoyed performing under pressure and taking responsibility,” Rahul told Deccan Herald on Wednesday. “It’s been a great opportunity for me to bat up the order and I am fortunate to be batting at number three along with Shikhar, (David) Warner and (Aaron) Finch. Overall, it’s been a good experience so far. It would have been really nice if we had won a few more games but we are looking forward to our remaining games. It’s a very good unit and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t do well,” he remarked.

A productive Ranji season, where he accumulated over 1000 runs, has put the 21-year-old in a positive frame of mind. “Not much difference,” he said while comparing his previous IPL stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore to the present one. “But yes, I am more confident because I have had a good first-class season, got some runs there. I had been part of Royal Challengers and also played a few matches last season. So I do understand the pressures of this tournament and that experience is helping me cope with the demands,” he offered.

Batting alongside Finch and Warner, Rahul pointed out, has been a great learning curve. “It’s been a lot of fun being with the likes of Aaron and David,” he said. “I keep talking to them constantly whether it’s in the nets or in the dressing room. There is so much that I have learnt just being around them and batting alongside – their preparations, their reading of situations... It’s been a great experience so far. I have always watched them on TV and admired them but to be playing with them is a blessing.

“I have been talking a lot with (Hyderabd mentor) Laxman also. I obviously spend a lot of time with him and he has been sharing his experiences. He has played T20 and he keeps discussing how he had to tweak his game to suit the format. This game is all about adapting and his inputs have been very valuable for me. He has been one of the legends of the game and I am lucky to be mentored by someone like him,” he observed.

 Rahul has faced Dale Steyn in the ‘nets’ and joked that he was happy to be not playing against the fiery paceman. “I have played him in the nets on a couple of occasions and sometimes he really works up his speed. But facing Steyn in the nets and playing him in matches are two totally different things. I am glad we are in the same team and I don’t have to face him. I am happy keeping to him.”