KL Rahul discussed his relationship with the team coach Anil Kumble, his way of looking at T20 and what it means to be shouldering the responsibilities of a captain in such an intense tournament and much more.
New Delhi: One of the most stylish and sought after batsman in world cricket and IPL, also the captain of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), KL Rahul, who played a blistering knock of 132 runs in 69 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore breaking many records in the process, opened up about his time in the lockdown and the return of cricket, in a conversation with InsideSport’s “Amstrad Face 2 Face Cricket Series”.
He also discussed his relationship the team coach Anil Kumble, his way of looking at T20 and what it means to be shouldering the responsibility of a captain in such an intense tournament and much more.
He said, "I think it is that kind of skill or that kind of responsibility one learns on the go, I don't think that there is much one can prepare for. There are certain things strategically or tactically one can plan for and that is only after we have reached UAE and once we have gotten together with the coach and the players. As I said, I am trying to learn on the go and make the best possible decision. I am trying to create an environment in the dressing room or off-the-field for the boys to play and enjoy the game with complete freedom and not have any pressure on their shoulder."
He added, “I have played the game for so many years and at this level for 5-6 years and I have learnt a lot from captains I have played under and captains I have played against and come the situation or crunch time, I try to use my experience.”
Rahul also said that Kumble's experience will come handy at Punjab.
"Somebody like Anil Kumble comes in with so much experience. He has captained a franchise, he has been a part of teams and he has been involved with the league for so many years. He understands exactly what the team goes through and what the players go through during these two months of IPL. He has been through it himself. He is now in a coaching job, it helps the team, and it helps a captain like me who is captaining the team for the first time to have his experience and someone like him to fall back on to bounce some ideas."
Rahul believes that managing his batting, captaincy and wicket-keeping is as simple or hard as one wants it to be and that is the philosophy he goes by.
He said, “For me, it has always been that I try to be in the moment, play one ball at a time whether in batting, captaincy or wicket keeping. I try to keep things simple. I am not a person who thinks too far ahead. I don't go into a game or a tournament with huge expectations. For me it's about enjoying each day and each opportunity and that's the kind of mindset I want my players and my team to go with.
"I don't want them to worry about what is going to happen in the 14th or 16th game whereas it's about enjoying each opportunity and we are all fresh we could ever be. Everyone's keen to go out there and create an impact. Every time we talk in the dressing room it is always about believing in the process and the preparation and just after that, come game time we have to believe that we have done everything we could do."
Rahul also expressed his views on T20 being a power hitter’s game as opposed to his classic style of batting.
He said, “It is true, T20 is all about hitting fours and sixes but at the end of the day it just needs to be a four/six doesn't matter how hard you hit it or how far you hit it, you still have to hit it for a four or a six that is how I look at the game. Everyone is blessed differently and it's about staying true to our game and staying true to ourselves. It's still about scoring the runs quickly and scoring the fours and sixes. There are a lot of change ups like constant bowling changes, variations like yorkers, bouncers and change of pace etc. So, it's important that we stay proactive and your mind is always thinking about how to get better and better each ball. There are people who are blessed with strength but still they get only six runs for it.”
(Via press release)
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