Rahul relishing opener’s role

CONFIDENT Ever since his promotion to the top of the order, KL Rahul has displayed good form. AFP

K L Rahul has played a perfect second fiddle to Rohit Sharma, holding one end up and giving his senior mate the freedom to go after the attack. A natural opener, he has seamlessly settled into his new role after starting the innings at No 4.

Since he started opening the innings, the right-hander has reeled off scores of 57, 30, 48, 0 and 77 - providing stability at the top of the order following an injury-forced exit of Shikhar Dhawan.

On Tuesday against Bangladesh, he was involved in the highest opening stand of 180 for the tournament. He had a golden chance to convert his knock into three-figure before once again he flattered to deceive.

“It will be great to score big runs for every batsman when he walks in that’s what he wants to do,” said Rahul later on Tuesday.

“I’ve been batting well, in good headspace. I just want to keep doing the things I’ve been doing right, try and probably improve each innings and see if I can prolong the right things that I’ve been doing till 60-70. If I can do it for a bit longer, obviously I’ll get the big score and it will benefit the team.

“(I am) fully satisfied (with my batting) but again when I say convert, it means batting deeper, batting till 35 or 45 overs as much as I can because I know in conditions like this, in a one-day international, the set batsman can do the most damage. So, it’s important but with each innings, I am learning and if I follow the same process and try to get better, I will get there eventually and put up better performances for the team,” he explained.

The Karnataka batsman has been singled out for playing out dot balls, and while he realises that he has a role to play according to team’s needs and not bother about criticism, he admits he wants find a way to pace his innings. And towards that direction, he constantly keeps picking on coaches and senior team-mates’ brains to understand and improve his own game.

“I’ve spoken to the batting coach and I do speak to my partners and team-mates who have done it before and who can help me out,” he pointed out. “It’s a unit which is young, we have great friendship and camaraderie, so we do talk a lot about cricket. But it’s each one’s own finding.

“As a batsman you find your own way to get runs, everyone is blessed differently, and no two people can follow the same pattern. I need to find out what’s best for me in the middle. I’m sure it will come. I’m doing a lot of right things. If I do it for longer, I’ll know how to do it again and again. Fingers crossed it comes sooner and then I can go onto the semifinal and final feeling and knowing how exactly I can pace my innings,” he explained.

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