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India vs England: Meet KL Rahul 2.0 – Less anxious, more secure, in control | Cricket News


The Lord’s honours board is thinly populated as far as Indian batting contributions are concerned. Vinoo Mankad, Gundappa Viswanath, Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri, Mohammed Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, Ajit Agarkar and Rahul Dravid were the only eight mentions before the second Test against England commenced. Now, a ninth member has been added: KL Rahul.
'Man of the Match' for his brilliant 129, Rahul is still in a daze thinking about his feat and wants to be sure if his name will be there permanently.
“I’ve been looking at it every morning to see if they’ve put it on permanently. They haven’t, it’s still a temporary piece of paper (name on the honours boards),” Rahul said after India’s win.
They better make it permanent soon.
The stylish Karnataka batsman showed exemplary tightness of technique and discipline to leave a lot of deliveries on Day 1 of the Test when conditions were conducive for seam bowling.

Despite his 149 in the final Test at the Oval when he was last in England for a Test assignment, Rahul’s outings were average and he really struggled to deal with the conditions. That was despite him enjoying a profitable whiteball leg. Three years later, Rahul, who came into the team only because Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal picked up injuries, is more sure about his game. And that confidence was evident in both the innings at Nottingham and the first innings at Lord’s.
So what is his assessment of the batsman that he was three years ago and the Rahul 2.0 in 2021?
“Last time, I was playing too many shots and I was thinking how I can score runs. This time, I just wanted to enjoy batting and focus on the role assigned to me. I didn’t want to focus on personal goals. I am enjoying my batting more," he said.

“Last time, I was just thinking about scoring my runs. Now when bowers are in midst of a good spell, I am trusting my technique, my defence. This is giving me results.”
Rahul is keener now to leave balls and play with the dead bat close to his body. Strike-rates don’t worry him. He is more concerned about strike-points and where he is meeting the ball.
In T20 and ODIs, Rahul is now a devastating force as he is a 360-degree batsman who can play in the powerplays and in the middle and death overs. Efforts like the one at Lord’s were in complete contrast to his white-ball skills and even when the regular openers now return, Rahul is expected to keep his spot.

Rahul says he achieved what he did with control, a clear mind and discipline and rates it very highly.
“This will be right up and there and would be memorable for me as it’s a match-winning one.”
Most of India would agree.

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August 18, 2021, 3:39 am

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