KL Rahul says he has 199 reasons to smile

KL Rahul says he has 199 reasons to smile

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Team India has been on a record-breaking spree of late with their stupendous performances in the longest format of the game. Their recent 4-0 series victory against the mighty Englishmen will definitely stand among one of the best series victories India has been involved in especially after losing three consecutive series to them. The youngsters performed like proven materials in the series even after the team had so many injury concerns.

Their innings victory especially in the final Test in Chennai despite conceding 477 to England in the first innings deserved special mention. The match will forever be remembered for Karun Nair as he went on to became the first Indian to convert his maiden Test century into a triple century and also for Ravindra Jadeja who bowled an inspired spell in the final day and finished with career best figures of 7/48. In spite of these match winning performances, there was one other performance which led the foundation for India.

Opener KL Rahul played a brilliant innings and looked well on course for his maiden Test double century before he had a brain freeze batting on 199 and played a rash shot to surrender his wicket so close to the elusive figure. It was such a magnificent effort and to fall so close to a big personal milestone does hurt but Rahul felt that 199 wasn’t easy to get and he should think of 199 different reasons to feel happy and forget that topic. Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin was the other Indian who fell for 199 and never made a double century in his career.

“Look it’s a funny game. I came back to playing Test cricket and got out for zero and people thought I was not the same guy,” Rahul was quoted by the India Today during an exclusive chat.  “It was a tough time for me. I have to be grateful for the runs I have got. I have 199 reasons to smile. I was just one run away from getting a double hundred. That’s the way the game goes. You don’t always get what you want,” he opined.

When asked if he had a brain freeze on 199 attempting a shot of such a wide ball, Rahul said, “You could say that. There are only a few times in a batsmen’s life when he gets really eager. When you want to get off the mark or when you are approaching 100 or a 200.  I was expecting him to pitch in the middle or off stump not expecting he would bowl it so wide. I just let my bat go half way through the shot and I was trying to pull back but it was too late.”

Rahul who recovered from the major disappointment said he was happy with the knock he played and for playing a significant part in the team’s victory. “I am happy that the 199 helped the team register one of the best victories we have had in last 14 months. There was not a lot in the wicket. We were thinking runs first four days. We wanted to win but did not know how we would do it. We wanted to fight it out. That’s the thing about this team. I rate the Chennai win right at top of the list,” he said.

Karun Nair feels Rahul will get his double century one day and Rahul too in healthy spirits told it was a target to get to Karun’s record. “You learn from these mistakes. I am happy from the learning. The next time I go out to bat I will try to break Karun or Sehwag’s record,” the opener said in all seriousness.

“Karun has set a very high benchmark in the team for us with his 300. His first hundred is a big one. Good to have such competition in the team,” he concluded.