‘KL Rahul can win games for In­dia’

The Free Press Journal - - SPORTS -

KL Rahul might have had his share of strug­gles in the lim­ited overs for­mat of late but skip­per Vi­rat Kohli is con­fi­dent that the tal­ented righthander will come good at his new No 4 slot.

Rahul had scores of 4, 17 and 7 in the three ODIs in Sri Lanka and was dropped from the fifth rub­ber. Asked about Rahul's form, Kohli said:"KL (Rahul) is an out­stand­ing tal­ent. He has proved him­self in all for­mats. We be­lieve that he has the abil­ity. Once he gets his role done, he will start win­ning us games. We are very sure of that." Kohli also feels that apart from Rahul, who is bat­ting at an un­fa­mil­iar No 4 po­si­tion, each and ev­ery player in the team needs to be flex­i­ble.

"I think, if you look to bat in the po­si­tion that you bat in one for­mat, in all the for­mats, then it can get very dif­fi­cult for the team to find the right kind of bal­ance in­clud­ing that player. So I think play­ers need to adapt to what the team re­quire­ment is more of­ten. "For ex­am­ple, I have opened in the T20 cricket as well. So I should be flex­i­ble enough to do that. I think it's up to the player to get ver­sa­tile in a man­ner that he can take up dif­fer­ent po­si­tions what the team re­quires him to do," he said.

Kohli agreed that it takes time for any­one to set­tle in a par­tic­u­lar bat­ting slot. "It takes time, I am not say­ing it is easy. If you see Jinks (Ajinkya Ra­hane) as well – he has played in the mid­dle or­der in the ODIs, he plays in the mid­dle or­der in Test matches. He's also opened a lot in ODIs as well. He also felt that he found it dif­fi­cult to switch. Now we're back­ing Jinks at the top of the or­der. So he knows the plans are clear," the skip­per ex­plained the ra­tio­nale be­hind Rahul bat­ting at No 4. The skip­per said it was an ad­van­tage to have two wrist spin­ners (Kuldeep Ya­dav and Yuzven­dra Cha­hal) in the side and that their abil­ity to pick up wick­ets gave him a lot of con­fi­dence.

"It is a great ad­van­tage to have two wrist spin­ners in your team, es­pe­cially when both are so dif­fer­ent to each other and both can pick up wick­ets in the mid­dle overs. "It is im­por­tant to keep pick­ing wick­ets and have break­throughs through­out. Those two guys have pro­vided that to us and they are very con­fi­dent com­ing into this se­ries. They are in a zone where they don't mind get­ting hit as long as they pick up three-four wick­ets which I think is a very good space to be in," he added. Asked if there was a dif­fer­ent out­look be­cause Aus­tralia was a stronger op­po­si­tion, he told re­porters ahead of the first ODI against Aus­tralia at M A Chi­dambaram Sta­dium here to­day, "No, I don't think that we need to look at any se­ries dif­fer­ently. As I men­tioned in Sri Lanka as well, your prepa­ra­tion should mat­ter more than who you are play­ing against. So ob­vi­ously you'll as­sess strengths and weak­nesses of all sides." "As I have said be­fore, you can't raise or de­crease your in­ten­sity ac­cord­ing to who you are play­ing against. That's not be­ing fair to the sport and that's some­thing that we as a team do not be­lieve in. So, we like to pre­pare the same way and we like to play with the same kind of in­ten­sity re­gard­less of who we are play­ing against.

Asked if it was more drain­ing that re­sulted in play­ers los­ing cool, he said,"I don't think so. You can say what you want, you can keep talk­ing the whole time but if you don't de­liver on the field it doesn't mat­ter. All those things are to get that as­pect of mind games which I think cre­ates an ex­cite­ment for the fans watch­ing as well."

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