Batsman KL Rahul is relishing a rich run of form in India‘s ODI and T20I XIs. Rahul's last 10 innings in international cricket have yielded four half-centuries, one ton and two other scores higher than 40.
His latest half-ton was struck in Friday's victory over New Zealand in the series-opening T20I at Eden Park in Auckland. Bet365 have New Zealand and India offered at 2.62 and 1.50, respectively, to win the second T20I at the same venue on Sunday.
“I've been blessed with shots all over the ground, but getting into good positions and striking the ball with a good technique is my strength. If I can carry forward that belief and mind-set into each innings it'll help me more and I can be more successful and in return I can be more consistent for the team's sake,” said Rahul.
He is currently India's first-choice wicketkeeper. He performed the role in an interim capacity after the young Rishabh Pant was concussed during the recent ODI series against Australia. Pant has since recovered, but is not being named in the XI, as Rahul continues the role.
What Rahul said about wicketkeeper role
“I'm quite honestly loving it. At the international stage, it might seem very new and it might seem like I've never kept. I've kept for my IPL franchise for the last three to four years, and I've kept for my first-class team as and when there is an opening,” added Rahul.
“I've still stayed in touch with wicketkeeping. I enjoy staying behind the stumps and it also gives me a great idea about how the pitch is playing, and I can pass on that message to the bowlers and the captains with field-sets and everything.
“As a wicketkeeper, that's also your responsibility to stay active and pass the message on to your captain as to what lengths are better and what I feel we can do better.
“As a batsman as well, after keeping for 20 overs, especially you get a fair idea on what are the good shots on this kind of wicket and so I'm enjoying the responsibility and so far so good for me.”
The 27-year-old praised fellow batsman Shreyas Iyer, who was named Player of the Match after striking an unbeaten half-century in the first T20I against New Zealand. Iyer's 58 not out spanned a mere 29 deliveries – and was lined with five fours and three sixes.
“That is very heartening to see – the way Shreyas finished it off, the way he celebrated very calmly after reaching his half-century, and he finished the game and then celebrated. Those are great signs for us,” concluded Rahul.