R Sridhar, India’s fielding coach, was effusive in praise for KL Rahul, who has now, can be said, secured his place in the Test side after scoring 244 runs in two Tests in difficult conditions in the ongoing series against England.
Rahul, who was selected for the first Test after Mayank Agarwal was ruled out due to concussion, bailed the team out of a precarious situation at Trent Bridge in the first innings. Then, the right-hander completed his comeback with a high-class hundred at Lord’s.
Sridhar pointed out that before getting dropped from the team a couple of years ago, KL Rahul had hit a century on the 2018 trip to England. He said the opener has “found some ways” to be in runs in the English conditions even when the home openers have found the going tough.
“He has found some ways to score runs in England as an opener, even back in 2018 where he scored a 100 at The Oval. Not many openers succeed in England. Even the English openers average less than 35. It all boils down to preparation and wanting to play Test cricket again,” Sridhar said while speaking on R Ashwin’s YouTube channel.
KL Rahul had a good 40-50 days of practice: R Sridhar
KL Rahul was actually being prepared for a middle-order role. But then injury to Shubman Gill, and concussion to Agarwal meant that he was fast-tracked into the opening slot a day before the first Test.
Sridhar said the reason Rahul seamlessly took over the opening role was that he has had about 40-50 days of preparation behind him to tackle the English bowlers in testing conditions.
“Rahul was the fourth opener going into the series, but his preparation has been extraordinary. I have been feeding him a lot of throw-downs. How to play, the bat angles, the contact points. He has analysed all these and had a good 40-50 days of practice. That’s why he is batting the way he is batting,” the 51-year-old fielding coach added.
To give some strength to the brittle batting, which collapsed inside two 52 overs in the second innings at Lord’s, England have recalled experienced batsman Dawid Malan for the Headingley Test next week. Malan last played a Test three years ago. Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley have been dropped from the squad.