“Why Is Strike Rate Low?” - KL Rahul Gave A Very Balanced Reply
India's star opener KL Rahul has found himself at the receiving end of criticism and trolling, off-lately, for his batting performances or more so his strike rate, which reads 127.96 in T20Is since January 2021.
In fact, questions were raised about his place in the Indian squad. The topic flared further after Virat Kohli played a stunning knock, registering his 71st century while opening the innings for India in the Asia Cup 2022 Super-4 game against Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, amidst all the criticism and trolling over his 'strike rate' in recent times, KL Rahul has finally opened up on the topic, explaining that players play according to the need of a team. He further revealed that he is working on improving his performance. He also revealed that the team management is clear about what is expected from everyone. He said:
"No one's perfect. No one in the dressing room is perfect. Everyone's working towards something and everyone has a certain role to do. Obviously, strike rates are taken on an overall basis. You'll never see when that batsman has played at a certain strike rate, whether it was important for him to play at 200 strike rate or whether the team could have still won playing at 100-120 strike rate. So these are things that not everybody analyses. So when you look at it, it looks low,"
He added: "It is something that I am working on. Obviously, the roles that have been defined to each player in the last 10-12 months have been very clear and the player understands what is expected out of them and everyone's working towards it and I'm just working towards how I can better myself as an opening batter and see how I can have the most impact for my team whenever I go out to play,"
Further, Ever since returning from a long injury lay-off, Rahul has been struggling to score runs consistently. KL Rahul admitted that it has taken him a few matches to feel confident about his body. He said:
"I'm feeling good, obviously, it's been a few games since I've come back after injury and getting that time in the middle was really important. So the Asia Cup and going to Zimbabwe and getting a couple of things was really important and really crucial for me and yeah, I'm feeling good. Looking forward to the challenge against the Australian team and it'll be fun to play back at home. It's been a while for me so I'm looking forward to it,"
Furthermore, when asked about India's recent performances in multi-nation tournaments, including the World Cups and Asia Cup in the last few years, Rahul opined that criticism is natural and the members of the Indian side criticized themselves more than the fans or anyone else. He said:
"The most important thing for a player in that dressing room is what his captain, his coach and what the other players think of him. Only we know what role is expected out of each person and everyone is trying to give their best and not every time will a player succeed. That is the kind of environment we've created where players are not afraid to make mistakes or fail. Mistakes ho bhi jata, this is what we do, we work the hardest for this,"
He added: "Criticism happens every time. We criticise ourselves more than any of you do. We dream of winning, we are representing the country, we want to win the World Cup that is all in our mind."
"When we don't do well, it hurts us the most. It's about what goes on in our team. We have a support staff and leader who not only appreciate when times are good but also in tough times when an individual has done well, they back us,"