'I have learnt from my mistakes' - KL Rahul 'hopeful' about doing the job for India against England

Rahul enters in the upcoming five-Test England series on the back of a century against County XI during India’s warm-up fixture.

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KL Rahul of India
KL Rahul of India. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The last KL Rahul worn whites for India was back in August 2019, when the team was touring West Indies. It was the series that initiated India’s journey in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship.

That cycle has now come to a close, while all the teams are now gearing up for the second edition of the championship, which will kickstart with England and India’s five-match series, starting from August 4.

Of the 18 Tests that India played in the first WTC cycle (17 in the league and the final at Southampton against New Zealand), Rahul was a part of only two, both against West Indies, where India registered a 2-0 win to start their campaign on a dominating note.

Two years since then, endless competition in the top and middle-order has kept Rahul away from the action in the longest format, even though he regularly finds himself in contention in the team’s limited-overs setup.

“It’s always good to get runs in the white kit. It’s been a while since I’d played a red-ball game, so it was very nice to be out there, and score runs. It’s important to stay patient and wait for my turn. I’ve been working on my game. It’s good to get some time in the middle and score some runs,” said Rahul, said recently.

Last India toured England (in 2018), he was a part of each of the five Tests, although he could manage only 299 runs at 29.90, which included a second-innings 149 at the Kennington Oval in a losing cause. Thereafter, in the seven Tests he played across three series, Rahul could muster only 195 runs, leading himself out of the team.

Failure makes you strong, more focused and determined: KL Rahul

“When I got dropped in 2018, I had to go back and discuss with coaches, watched a lot of videos to see where I was faltering and try to correct that. I’m happy, time off from Test cricket (has helped). Like they say, failure makes you strong, makes you more focused and determined about the game. It’s no different for me. I’m looking forward to the opportunities, trying to stay a lot calmer and more disciplined,” he told BCCI.tv.

“I remember The Oval being the best batting pitch we got in the whole series. At the back of my mind, I also knew it was the last game of the series and I hadn’t done well in the series. So, it was only realistic that I would have probably not gotten a chance in the next series.

“I wanted to make it count, enjoy my batting. I had a sense of freedom in my head. I thought this may be my last opportunity to let me go and enjoy my game. Me and Rishabh (Pant), had we battled for an hour more, we could have won the game. That would have been historic, been the icing on the cake. But I’ll still hold Oval very close (to my heart).”

Rahul enters in the upcoming five-Test series on the back of a century against County XI during India’s three-day warm-up fixture at Chester-le-Street, and he is hopeful about doing the job for his team.

“I’ve always been confident. I’ve never really worried about confidence. It’s my self-belief that has gotten me so far, but it’s about maintaining a calm head, learning from your mistakes. I’m just enjoying my game. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve learnt from them. I get stronger. Like I said this is a good opportunity again, hopefully, fingers crossed I can do the job for the team.”

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