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World Cup: 'Good to have Rahul back, he gives us stability'

Source: PTI
October 09, 2023 17:56 IST
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IMAGE: KL Rahul struck an unbeaten 97 to guide India to a win over Australia in their World Cup opener. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Architect of India's six-wicket win over Australia, wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul has a solid all-round game and provides stability in the middle-order, said bowling coach Paras Mhambrey.

Rahul scored an unbeaten 97 to steer India to a fine victory in their World Cup opener on Sunday.

Chasing 200, Rahul, batting at number five, arrived at the crease in the third over with Australia striking in the opening two overs to leave India reeling at two for three.

Rahul tailored a crucial 165-run partnership with Virat Kohli (85) to bring India back into the chase.


"We always knew what Rahul brings to the team, the quality of a batter he is, especially in the middle order. We need someone, and he is that kind of a player who plays spin well, also the fast bowlers and the seamers," said Mhambrey during an interaction.

"So, in that sense, he gives you the stability and confidence. And, the way he has played in the past, we definitely trusted him, and it's good to have him back."

'Approach has been very simple'

After returning to the Indian team following a long injury lay-off, Rahul has scored an unbeaten hundred against Pakistan in the Asia Cup and also made two fifties in the three-ODI series against Australia.

The spin trio of Ravindra Jadeja (3/28), Ravichandran Ashwin (1/34) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/42) shared six wickets as India restricted Australia to 199.

"Looking at the way they (Australia) approached the last few games, we realised that they went hard in the first ten overs. We knew with the ball being hard, it does come on to the wicket," Mhambrey said.

"The approach has been very simple. They went hard against the seamers and spinners.

"So, picking early wickets was really important for us, and that made the difference, as they lost (Mitchell) Marsh early. And that kind of tiled the batting, putting (Steven) Smith with (David) Warner. So, they had a different set-up to go with.”

Mhambrey lauds India's spin attack

Mhambrey feels Indian spinners bring a lot of variety into the attack.

"That's the beauty of this game. In a team combination, you want variety. And for us, all our spinners offer different kinds of options and varieties," he said.

"All three of them have the ability, especially someone like Ash (R Ashwin) or (Ravindra) Jadeja. They are the kind of options that you can use in the first powerplay and the middle. Kuldeep (Yadav) is also another option that we can use."

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep has been simply sensational in his last few outings, including the Asia Cup, and Mhambrey feels credit must be given to him for the amount of hard work that he has done in the past few years.

"Considering the way he has bowled in the last few years, he has played enough cricket to understand that, and he has got the experience, definitely. I am very happy with the way he has progressed. Credit should be given to Kuldeep for the fact that he has worked on it.

"Sometimes when we have these conversations, as a bowler, you gotta have the self-realisation as to what are the areas that I need to work on.

"We have been having that kind of conversation with him for quite a long time now. He has worked on certain things and made some technical changes, and you can see that in his bowling."

"In the last few years, his speed has gone up, and his length and areas have been better. So, I think there are a lot of big ticks for us."

India will face Afghanistan next on October 11 at New Delhi.

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