Ind vs Eng, 2nd ODI: KL Rahul says, he knew next player coming out of Karnataka would be Prasidh: India wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul on Thursday said that he was not surprised to see Prasidh Krishna perform well in his debut ODI and he praised the bowler, saying the pacer is someone who catches the viewer’s eye instantly.
Defending 318 in the first ODI, Prasidh was being hammered left, right and centre by England’s Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy but he staged a comeback to dismiss Roy and Ben Stokes in quick succession. He went on to take the wickets of Sam Billings and Tom Curran as India registered a 66-run victory in the first ODI to go 1-0 up in the three-match series. The pacer finished with figures of 4-54 from 8.1 overs and as a result, he recorded the best figures by an Indian bowler on debut in an ODI. “Quite honestly, I am not surprised with what Prasidh did in the first ODI. I always knew that the next player coming out of Karnataka would be Prasidh. I have watched him play a lot of junior cricket, I watched him in the nets. He was someone who would catch your eye, he is a tall guy so he gets a lot of bounce from the wicket. Having played with him in the last two seasons, I realised he is a brave boy,” said Rahul during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“He has a great sense of the game, he is a very keen learner, he is very brave and comes in with a lot of aggression. As you saw in the first game, he was not shy to have a word or two with the batsmen, that is what I love about him. So happy to see him not being overwhelmed with the place he was in. The way he came back after the first three overs, he got a couple of wickets, these are the qualities that define a player and we are impressed with what he has done, if he works hard, he will be a great asset to the side,” he added.
Rahul was out of form in the T20I series against England as he scored just 15 runs in four matches and because of this, he was even dropped for the fifth and final T20I. But the batsman was given a chance in the first ODI and he made full use of the opportunity as he hit an unbeaten 62 to guide India’s score past the 300-run mark.
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When asked what he did during the 3 months where he did not get a game in the longest format, Rahul said: “As a batsman, I feel being in the middle and playing games is something which keeps me in the best touch. Having not got the game time that I would have liked, I won’t say it did not play on my mind, I knew I had to find some way to get myself best prepared with whatever opportunities I get in the training or open-net sessions, in terms of that, I tried to prepare myself.”
Answering a question on how he sees youngsters coming in and performing straight away, Rahul said: “I think a huge part is the IPL and the confidence these boys come in with. Whoever is coming in the team, it is not like they have performed in one season of the IPL or one season of first-class cricket. It has been two-three years of consistent performance wherever they play. Suryakumar, Ishan, and Krunal have said in their interviews that they have played against these guys at some point in the IPL and they know how they go about their games.
“IPL performances have given them a lot of confidence and they have carried that confidence into international cricket. The team management has tried to give the youngsters confidence, I feel weird to call them youngsters having seen them for so many years, when they come in, we want all players to continue what they have been doing. It’s important they stick to what they have been doing in the past and keep believing in their process,” he added.