Mirpur: India’s top-order batter KL Rahul is looking forward to continuing with his role of keeping behind the wickets in the remaining two One-day Internationals (ODIs) against Bangladesh here, with the 30-year-old saying he had done it before and would readily do it whenever the requirement arises.
The absence of first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant meant Rahul donned the gloves during the first ODI against Bangladesh, scoring a swashbuckling 73 and also taking the vital catch of opener Litton Das even though the hosts won the match by one wicket.
It was the first time Rahul had kept wickets in India’s ODI side for more than a year, but the experienced right-hander is keen to continue in that role should the selectors believe that is the best option.
“We haven’t played a lot of ODIs in the last six or seven months, but if you look at, since 2020 or 2021, I have kept wickets in the one-day format, and I have batted at No.4 and No.5 in the middle-order,” Rahul said post-match.
“It’s a role the team has asked me to be ready for. I’ve done it before, and whenever the team wants me to play this role, I play this role.”
Rahul managed two half-centuries for India during the recent ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, but failed to reach double figures in four other knocks and finished with just 128 runs at an average of 21.33 for the tournament, according to ICC.
Rahul added he has been working hard on his batting since the T20 World Cup and was glad to be back among the runs at international level with yet another white-ball half-century.
“It was just one of those days where, out of everybody else, I looked like I was timing the ball better and the shots that I picked, fortunately for me, went to the boundary, or every option that I took went my way,” Rahul said.
“Something that I’ve been working on even in the last couple of sessions that we’ve been here in Bangladesh. The pitches, even at the back (nets), have been quite similar to what we got in the middle today, so I tried to challenge myself.
“All the preparation happens before the game, so quite pleased with such innings really give you joy as a batter, because you’re challenged and you have to really put your hand up when your team requires, so I enjoyed my batting today.”
While happy with his individual score, Rahul was left to rue the fact he went out in the 40th over when some extra runs could have boosted India’s score and been pivotal to the outcome of the match. “I would have ideally liked 30-40 more runs towards the end,” Rahul noted.
“I did fancy 230-240 if I batted till the end. (Mohammed) Siraj was batting well with me, so if I could have batted another 10 overs and got another 30-40 runs, it could have made a difference,” he added.