Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag lavished praise on Indian opener KL Rahul and asserted that his shot selection was very impressive in the first Test in Nottingham. He also added that there are two ways of making a comeback, you either play like Rahul Dravid or Virender Sehwag.
KL Rahul was touted as a middle-order option for India in Test cricket. He even made a brilliant century to rescue the side in the warm-up fixture against the County XI side. But with a packed middle-order, it was unlikely for the Karnataka batsman to feature in the first Test against England. However, as fate would have it, Mayank Agarwal got concussed just ahead of the Test and Rahul was made to open at Trent Bridge along with Rohit Sharma. And he made sure to make the opportunity count and put on a great display of batting, with his patience and shot selection, impressing the most.
Rahul played with intent throughout but at the same time, was also mindful of the deliveries in the channel and was leaving the balls quite well. Rahul had revealed that earlier he was guilty of playing one shot too many and that was something he had worked on in lead up to the series. Virender Sehwag also suggested that the Indian opener did very well in terms of his shot selection.
“So that is the line I liked the most in KL Rahul’s interview that he was looking to play too many shots earlier but in this innings his shot selection was most impressive. He only played shots if the ball was pitched up or short, he either left or defended the good length deliveries,” Sehwag said during a discussion on Sony Sports Network, reported HT.
The Indian cricket expert reckons that once a player improves his shot selection, success becomes inevitable, citing the example of Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
“He said a very good thing that the improvement was caused by his shot selection. It is the most important thing, if your shot selection is good, the performance will surely happen. Virat Kohli is so consistent because his shot selection is very good. He knows which shots he can play and which he can’t. He sticks to that even after scoring a century.”
Rahul was making a comeback after a long time in Tests. Sehwag further added that there are two types of mindsets that players have when they return to the side – either play defensively or show aggression.
“There are two types of mindset, you can make a comeback either in Rahul Dravid style, where you don’t play a shot at all and become extremely defensive, or you play aggressively in Sehwag style. Both are difficult, so you have to find your own way which is best for you.”