Wanted to spend time in middle and play a few balls:  KL Rahul on match winning knock in 1st ODI | INDvsAUS

Xtra Time Web Desk: KL Rahul stood up and played his role to perfection as he scored a brilliant 75 not out off 91 balls to bail India out of trouble in the first ODI against Australia at the Wankhede stadium. It was a statement as well from the elegant batter who was recently dropped from the test playing XI. Following his match winning knock, Rahul said that the key for him was to spend time in the middle and play a few balls. Once he settled in it was easy for him.

It was a great move by the team management to play Rahul as a wicketkeeper batter at No 5. With a sound technique, he can confidently play both pacers and spinners in the middle overs. Rahul scored the first 40 runs in 60 balls but his next 35 runs came in 31 balls, establishing the fact that he can shift gears as and when required.

Rahul revealed that the strategy was to not go into the shell and look to play out a certain bowler, and keep on rotating the strike.

Chasing 189, India was in a disastrous position losing four wickets with just 39 runs on board. However, it was the Rahul-Ravindra Jadeja’s unbeaten century partnership that revived India’s hopes and eventually led them to victory with 10.1 overs left.

“I was fortunate I got a couple of boundaries early on. Whoever I batted with, the talk was that there is a bit of help in the wicket, but we can’t go into our shell and look to play out a certain bowler. We wanted to run hard, we wanted to put the loose balls away,” Rahul said after the game.

He further added, “Three wickets had gone down, and Starc was swinging the ball. He is dangerous when it is moving. I gave myself some time, not searching for runs,”