Virat Kohli’s idea is to utilize KL Rahul as the keeper-batsman for long run as it helps in maintaining the right kind of balance in the squad. Rahul’s 27-ball 56 while sharing a partnership of 99 runs with the skipper in the first T20I against New Zealand in Auckland proves Kohli’s words to be true yet again.
When KL was asked about the same after the match, he said that keeping eventually helps him in batting. “I’m quite honestly loving it. At the international stage, it might seem very new and it might seem like I’ve never kept. [But] I’ve kept for my IPL franchise for the last 3-4 years, and I’ve kept for my first-class team as and when there is an opening. I’ve still stayed in touch with wicket keeping.”
He further added, “I enjoy staying behind the stumps and it also gives me a great idea about how the pitch is playing, and I can pass on that message to the bowlers and the captains with field-sets and everything. As a keeper, that’s also your responsibility to stay active and pass the message on to your captain as to what lengths are better and what I feel we can do better.”
KL believes that after keeping for 20 overs it become easier to understand the nature of the pitch and one can play shots according to the track. The last one year has been tremendously good for KL especially in white-ball cricket. He has improved gradually and performed consistently to earn a regular slot in the team.
“If I can carry forward that belief and mind-set into each innings it’ll help me more and I can be more successful and in return, I can be more consistent for the team’s sake.” KL opined, “You need some confidence and that doesn’t come in the nets or anywhere else. You need to be in the middle and get runs and that’s the only way that I could have got my confidence to go back, play some first-class cricket, less pressure and I could focus on myself, my skill and my cricket.”