Kings XI Punjab player and now captain KL Rahul has been their best batsman in the last two years amid their underwhelming display as a team. The IPL’13 will be the first time in almost eight months that all the members of the Indian team would get back to professional cricket with the tournament commencing on the 19th of this month in the UAE. As the extravaganza is on the brink of starting, KL Rahul remains doubtful of his abilities.
The last time India played international cricket was during the tour of New Zealand, winning the T20 series while losing the ODIs and Tests comprehensively. KL Rahul was in sparkling form during the five-match T20 rubber, making over 200 runs and earning the man of the series award too. Seven months since that, the keeper-batsman is doubtful whether his batting prowess is the same as before.
KL Rahul conceded that since they are starting fresh, what transpired seven months ago holds little importance now. The 28-year-old stated that they would enter the tournament without any professional cricket under their belt for several months; hence, he has reservations about his batting abilities. Furthermore, a competition as massive as IPL makes it a challenge for which they are nervous.
“Firstly, I think we are starting fresh. I don’t think what has happened seven months prior will matter now. We are all coming into the tournament with not [having played] a lot of cricket.
“So, I am not sure if my batting form is going to be the same as it was seven months ago. And in a tournament like IPL which is huge, I would be lying if I say all of us are not nervous at all. We are, but that’s the challenge of sport. No one expected this to happen,” the Karnataka-born cricketer told IANS.
It’s a place nobody can ever fill in Indian cricket: KL Rahul
KL Rahul, who began keeping wickets for India against Australia earlier this year, did the job to a great effect in New Zealand as well and cemented his position as India’s number one choice in white-ball cricket for the gloveman’s role.
MS Dhoni’s recent retirement from international cricket further solidified Rahul’s spot. As far as KL Rahul is concerned, he feels that Dhoni is irreplaceable and is merely doing what the team needs him to that excites him.
“Yes the expectations are always there from not just me but all the XI that represent the country and all 15 guys who are playing in the team. Does it make me conscious? I don’t think so. Not so far at least. For now, my focus is solely on the IPL and getting some cricket under me.
“It’s a place nobody can ever fill in Indian cricket. That’s something I genuinely feel. Whatever role is given to me, it excites me. I am not very conscious about it,” he added.