India’s batting star from the first Test against England, KL Rahul revealed that it was frustrating to warm the bench when the chances weren’t coming his way. He also asserted that it wasn’t easy to focus in the middle, given the frequent rain interruptions in the Test, but the team did well.
When KL Rahul returned to India’s Test side for the tour of Down Under, it had created a furore, given he had hardly played red-ball cricket or done anything of note to make a comeback. He was slated to be part of the team in the latter part of the series but then got injured, and from there onwards, had to patiently wait for his opportunities. Given India’s packed middle-order, he didn’t feature in the home Tests against England or the WTC finale.
But then a late injury to Mayank Agarwal opened up a place for him in the side, and he grabbed it with both his hands at Trent Bridge. The right-hander showed great application, technique, and composure to return with scores of 84 and 26. After the game, the talented batter revealed that it was frustrating not to play for India.
“From the last 2-3 series (away vs Australia and vs England in India), I have been sitting outside. The team was doing really well and I was very happy to be part of the team and seeing how we were beating teams in India and then Australia.So it was great to be part of it, but also very frustrating that opportunities weren’t coming. It was only practised, practise and practise and as a player you want to be in the middle and want to challenge yourself, so I kept waiting for my opportunity, so I am very happy that it came to England,” Rahul said in the presser, reported India Today.
India’s premier quick Jasprit Bumrah had struggled in the WTC finale and only bowled well in patches. His form was supposed to be crucial for India in the Test series against England. And he started with a bang, picking up nine wickets in Nottingham, emerging as the best bowler in the game. Rahul was surprised by the suggestion made by someone that Bumrah returned to form and stated that he has been a match-winner and done well across conditions.
“Sir, I don’t know why you are saying that (Jasprit) Bumrah has made a comeback,” Rahul said.
“Every time, in every game, in every condition he has proved himself and he is our number one bowler. We are happy that he is doing what he is (has) been doing since he started playing Test cricket. Wherever he has played, he has been a match-winner for us. We are happy that he has done once again, what he does best.”
He also added that it was good to see India’s preparations coming out well in the Test series opener and was pleased with the way the batters performed in some difficult conditions.
“Everything that we prepared for one and half months (post-WTC final) fell in place and hopefully we can keep getting better. The way we went about our batting as well was pretty good. On a challenging pitch with the weather conditions forcing us to go in and out, it’s not easy to get our focus back but we held ourselves well. I think the energy was great on the field and everything that we’ve prepared for over the last month and a half fell in place nicely. It’s a great start for the series for us and hopefully, we’ll keep improving.”
Rahul also lavished praise on the Indian bowlers and the way they set the tone for the game with their first innings display.
“The way we bowled in the first innings and the discipline that we showed after losing the toss and bowling first (was a takeaway). It felt like team which won the toss had an advantage and we bowled with a lot of discipline. Our pace bowling attack is the main reasons why we qualified for the WTC finals. Great to see that each time we go out there, we stick to what we have discussed and more often than not we have got results for being patient and disciplined.”