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Confident Rahul stakes claim for No 4 spot

May 29, 2019 12:51 IST
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'I am really happy with how I have bounced back and this gives me lots of confidence.'

KL Rahul

IMAGE: KL Rahul celebrates after completing his century in the warm-up match against Bangladesh. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter

KL Rahul insists he is happy to play in any position -- but he did a stellar job of staking his claim to India's No 4 slot in Cardiff.

India’s top three – Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli – seems cast in stone while Mahendra Singh Dhoni anchors the middle order.

No 4 remains one of the toughest positions in one-day cricket but Rahul's classy century against Bangladesh in the 2019 World Cup warm-up makes him appear a choice straight from central casting.

 

"I am really happy with how I have bounced back and this gives me lots of confidence," said Rahul.

"When you play at this level you have to handle the pressure and the responsibility. We know we have to be tried and tested.

"Where I play is not for me to decide. It's a team game and you need to be flexible. You need to be ready to bat, whatever you are given, you have to take what is thrown at you.

"Everyone seems to have great confidence with bat and ball, everyone is in great nick. These matches have been a great opportunity to get used to the 50-over format after coming from the IPL."

In his last game Rahul was skittled by New Zealander Trent Boult for just six -- this time around he made no mistake, lifting the pressure on coach Ravi Shastri and captain Kohli as they finalise plans for the opening match against South Africa next Wednesday.

A classy 108 off 99 balls won’t find its way into the record books -- these matches are not full internationals -- but it certainly won’t mean any less.

Rahul went big hit for big hit with Dhoni in a 164-run partnership, firing 12 fours and four sixes before his eventual dismissal by Sabbir Rahman.

"Batting with Dhoni is always a dream for me. I have been lucky we have been able to share a few big partnerships over the years," he added.

"He just dominated the spinners and is striking the ball so well. It’s a great sign for us and it’s just a pleasure to watch him from the other end when he is playing like that."

Rahul also insists his time away from the Indian team earlier this year has made him hungrier for success.

"It can give a player new perspective, a chance to reflect," he said.

"I spent time with friends and family and made the best of the situation. I spent the time working on my batting and technique and understanding how you manage things when your form is not so good. I was just hungry to come back and score runs."

(International Cricket Council)

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