KL Rahul Opens up on the Challenges and Joys of Wicketkeeping

image-lfdkhhx2Rahul scored a match-winning fifty [AP Photos]

In a stunning performance during the first ODI match against Australia, India's wicketkeeper-batter, KL Rahul, played a crucial role in securing a five-wicket victory for his team.

Despite the daunting challenge posed by Mitchell Starc's phenomenal opening spell, which claimed the wickets of Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav on consecutive balls, Rahul's steadfast and patient approach, exemplified by his unbeaten score of 75, helped India get over the line.

The wicket-keeper’s success behind the stumps, where he executed a remarkable catch of Steve Smith, was also noteworthy. 

Speaking after the match, Rahul expressed his enjoyment of wicket-keeping, but acknowledged that it can be challenging on low-bouncing wickets.

"When there’s bounce, I like keeping wickets. It is a bit of a challenge when it is slow and low, it is challenging physically. The ball was moving around and I enjoy playing here at the Wankhede,” said Rahul.

Rahul's comments on his performance with the bat were equally insightful. The 30-year old batter described the tough situation he faced when three wickets fell quickly in the powerplay, and how he had to exercise caution in order to steady the ship.

"Look obviously, we saw three wickets fall down early. When he (Starc) gets the bowl back in, he is a dangerous player. Had to bat 10-20 balls watchfully and take my time. Not search for getting quick runs. Got a few boundaries and settled myself, which helped in keep going," the Indian stumper added.

The Bengaluru born cricketer also acknowledged the role played by Mohammed Shami in turning the tide of the game with his second spell.

“Once Shami came back for his second spell, he did wonders. Any team that wants to win needs to pick wickets in the middle overs,” concluded Rahul.

Meanwhile, the Indian team would be feeling positive and self-assured following their commanding victory in the first ODI against Australia. Furthermore, the team's morale will be boosted by the return of Rohit Sharma, who will take over as captain from Hardik Pandya. The second ODI is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 19, in Visakhapatnam.