Injuries have not been beneficial to KL Rahul, but as he geared up to lead India in another series, he couldn’t thank the team management enough for remembering his contribution over the past two years while being absent for the past two months. “You may be out for two months, but they haven’t forgotten what you’ve done for the team and the country over the past two to three years. Players really thrive in such an environment,” said the Indian captain on the eve of the first. ODI. against Zimbabwe. He believes that the Indian team management has been able to create an environment that can bridge the gap while transforming from a good to a great player.
“It’s this kind of environment that can help transform a player from a good player to a great player, playing a lot more match-winning innings for his team,” said Rahul, who has a fantastic average of 46 plus and five hundred, after 42 games.
“It is very important for a player to have the support of selectors, coach and captain. It gives you so much confidence that your mindset is clear and you can focus on the things that are needed. It becomes easy for the player to support group is backing you,” added the stylish right-hander.
Rahul has had his fair share of injuries, the latest being surgery after he was discovered with a sports hernia.
“Injuries are part of sport and that part hasn’t been so nice to me, but it’s part of the journey, and you have to take the good and the bad,” Rahul added.
He was absent from the national team’s dressing room for some time after being banned from the start of the T20I home series against South Africa in June.
“I’ve been out for two months, and just to go back to the locker room and chat and laugh in the group is great.”
“Never tried to be someone I’m not”
Originality is very important and Rahul believes that in his short tenure as leader he has tried to be himself and let others in the team individually stand their ground.
“I can’t go out and be someone else. Then I won’t be honest with myself, the team or the game. I try to be myself and let the other players be themselves as they want,” Rahul said when asked whether he had tried to follow in the footsteps of the great MS Dhoni.
“I can’t even compare myself to these guys (MSD), their numbers and achievements are much greater in terms of what they’ve done for the country, and I don’t think a name can be taken in the same breath,” he reminded everyone to it.
“…And this is my second run as captain, and of course I’ve played under him and learned a lot from him as a player. Because you’ve been playing for so many years, you’re going to pick some good qualities from these guys.”
Managing a diverse bowling attack
When you have a few players, who have played a lot and with some comebacks from injuries, it becomes imperative that the skipper manages the pack well.
“Myself, Kuldeep and Deepak (Chahar), we were all at NCA (for rehab) and were all preparing for this series.
“So I know they’ve prepared well and they know what to do. For me it’s about managing them and giving them that confidence, allowing them to express themselves and having that freedom to do what they want to do,” the skipper said.
Rahul understands that it is a challenge that he would enjoy as a skipper.
“It will be (challenging) for any leader how good you are at managing your players and getting the best out of them.
“Everyone is in a different place in their career, and few of us have come back from injuries, few have played a lot of cricket and how do you handle their bodies and how do you deal with the mentality and nervousness of guys who come after a long break, and those are challenges as a leader,” he accepted the problems that could be tricky.
Just as Kuldeep and Chahar are making a comeback, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Mohammed Siraj have been part of the ODI lineup for the past six months.
“Avesh, Siraj and Prasidh have been playing non-stop since the beginning of IPL. It’s about dealing with their bodies a bit and strategizing a bit and sitting down and talking to them,” Rahul said, stressing that it will be his job Dealing with individual goals and plans with the collective team strategy.