Would love to be the wicketkeeper in the next 3 World Cups, says KL Rahul
- KL Rahul is India's vice-captain in white ball cricket
- He has established himself as the first-choice wicketkeeper in the limited overs formats
- Rahul said his role as KXIP captain has taught him to compartmentalise his responsibilities and stay focused in the moment
India’s limited overs vice-captain KL Rahul has stated his intentions to keep wickets in the next three International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments, although he has not held any discussions with the team’s management about it yet.
Having established himself as India’s first-choice wicketkeeper in the limited-overs formats, ahead of the likes of Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson, Rahul is eyeing the position for the three upcoming ICC events, two consecutive T20 World Cups and the ODI World Cup over the next three years.
His addition in the team also enables the team to field an extra batsman or bowler.
Speaking to PTI on Wednesday, Rahul said, “It helps the team combination a little more and it's something I would love to do if the opportunity presents itself and I can keep in three World Cups, I would love to do it for my country.”
In reply to questions about any discussion with the team management, the 28-year-old said, “Nothing has been told to me and we are not thinking that far as a team. Obviously, World Cups are important and that is a long-term vision for every team and country.”
“I think for me, we are just taking one game at a time. So if I put up consistent performances with bat and gloves, it gives us an option of playing an extra bowler or an extra batter,” the Mangalore-born batsman said.
Rahul has primarily operates as a middle-order batsman at number five in ODIs, while opening in T20Is and he admits his position will depend on the format.
“What the team wants from me and what combination sits better,” he said.
“Obviously, the last ODI series (against New Zealand) that we played, I batted at no.5, it's a role that I have enjoyed and (I am) happy to play whatever role the team gives me,” he added.
When asked if he would be able to emulate former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, particularly in the way he handled the spinners, Rahul said, “Look obviously, nobody can fill MS Dhoni's place. He has shown us the way and how wicketkeeper-batman role is performed.”
“With Kuldeep, Yuzi and Jaddu, we have a decent friendship and obviously I will go and give them a feedback as to what is a better length if they are doing something wrong and anybody in wicketkeeper's role will have that responsibility,” he said about if he would be able to chide Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Singh the way Dhoni did to his spinners.
The Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper also admitted to having enjoyed his role as an opening batsman for India during the New Zealand tour earlier this year, saying he hopes he could continue that run.
“I did one series in New Zealand and quite enjoyed it and hopefully I can be better at reading the game and give bowlers and captains some good feedback for the bowlers and the captain.”
His role as the KXIP captain has also given him an idea about the workload he can expect as India’s vice-captain.
“I did get a little bit of a feel with the IPL. I had to play a similar role there. It was challenging, new, got used to the role and started enjoying it.”
“Yeah, hopefully I will continue the same over here. When you are playing for the country, you have 11 of the best skilled guys, great cricket minds all by themselves and an able and passionate leader like Virat.”
“You look forward to a new responsibility.”
His role as the KXIP skipper also taught him how to compartmentalise his responsibilities and stay focused in the moment.
“Something, I learnt from the IPL is how to stay in the moment. While batting think as a batter and see how I can win the game as batter.”
“As a keeper, in the last 3-4 seconds, when the bowler is running in, you do not think as a leader. This is important going ahead for me."
The 14-day quarantine here has been challenging, Rahul admitted, and he felt a lot better when he got together with his teammates for training.
“Challenge has been being in the room alone. The time you practice, meet teammates, is the best time in the day. You have fun together. Challenge is mostly when you are back in the room and all alone.”