A proud moment, says dad

A proud moment, says dad

Rahul's knock

A proud moment, says dad

Dr K N Lokesh and Samuel Jayaraj woke up to the early Thursday morning alarm in their respective houses with tensed minds. Perhaps, they wouldn’t have slept properly, tossing and turning in their beds.

Their minds would have been at the faraway Sidney Cricket Ground, where K L Rahul – Lokesh’s son and disciple of Jayaraj – was readying himself to face Australian pacers in the fourth Test.

After his nervy Test debut at Melbourne, they were hoping for Rahul to spend some time in the middle so that he get a good feel of international cricket. A hundred was not on their thoughts.

“We were around the TV, and watched that innings closely. At first, we were not thinking about him getting a hundred. But as he entered the 80s, we thought of the possibility of him getting a hundred. Then we were all a bit tensed. Fortunately, Rahul did it. I am proud of him, the entire family is so happy. Hopefully, he will continue to do well for the country,” Lokesh told Deccan Herald.

Jayaraj had more trained eyes. He detected Rahul’s confidence early on in the innings. “He played that fine steer shot off (Mitchell) Starc for four in the first over he faced on the day, and it gave me some assurance about his confidence level. He stayed there and made a hundred. I hope it is first of many,” said Jayaraj, who coached Rahul, who hails from Suratkal, from his junior days.

Rahul’s place in the playing eleven was much discussed by both pundits and public after he made a miserable start at the MCG. Was he handed the India cap a tad too early? Has he got the right temperament for top-flight cricket? Questions were numerous.

Despite the pervading pessimism, Jayaraj was certain about Rahul’s ability. “He’s still very young. So, you should understand a youngster’s mindset before criticising him. He was playing his first international match at Melbourne, and he can’t be blamed for being a bit nervous,” said Jayaraj.

Jayaraj said he spoke to his ward after Melbourne. “We had a chat in WhatsApp. I told him to forget about the MCG Test, and asked him to concentrate on his routines like training hard at the nets and sharpening his fielding skills. I am quite happy his hard work has paid off with a good hundred against a top class team,” he added.

Lokesh too had spoken to Rahul after the MCG Test match. “In fact, we didn’t speak much about cricket. I just told him that we are all supporting him, and forget those few bad days on the field. It’s bound to happen in any cricketer’s life, and I just told him to wait for his next chance and try to do well. I am happy that he has managed to do that,” he said.

By the looks of it, there are bound to be more happy days for the family.