KL Rahul blasted 62 and shared a partnership of 100 with Virat Kohli as India won the match by six wickets against West Indies. (Photo Credit: PTI)
KL Rahul was in good form heading into the Twenty20 International clash against West Indies in Hyderabad. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament, Rahul smashed three fifties and played a major part in Karnataka's title triumph. In the clash against West Indies, Rahul was promoted to open the batting after Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out due to injury. The right-hander responded with a blazing 62 off 40 balls which included five fours and four sixes. Rahul also shared a 100-run stand with Virat Kohli as India pulled off their highest successful run-chase in a Twenty20 International by winning the clash by six wickets. Speaking in the post-match press conference, Rahul said he just wanted to capitalise on the opportunities that was presented ahead and was not looking too far ahead for the October World T20 which will be in Australia.
"It's (T20 Wolrd Cup) a long way honestly. I have got the opportunity to bat top of the order again after a couple of series, so looking forward to just making the best use of it. Today was a good outing, good hit in the middle and hopefully I can continue the same thing without worrying about October next year. There are a lot of games before that," Rahul said.
Talking about his 100-run second wicket partnership with skipper Virat Kohli, who hit a career-best 94 not out, Rahul said, "When you are chasing 200 plus obviously you want to come out hard so sometimes you don't hold your shape. So in the middle 2-3 overs we obviously got it harder to get the boundaries but we knew that once we get a few boundaries it will start, so we just had to stay patient. We just kept the intent going. Our plans were very clear that you have to hit boundaries while chasing 200 runs. It obviously was a bit tricky but the best chance for a batsman to score runs was once you are set. Fortunately Virat carried on and finished the game for us."
Rahul said for a fielder it wasn't easy to pick the ball with low flood lights at the ground in Hyderabad. One of the weird features at the ground was one floodlight just under the main floodlight, which caused Washington Sundar to miss a catch off Shimron Hetmyer while the Indian outfielding was generally poor.
"I don't think it's the dimensions of the ground, I think the lights are pretty low and sometimes you lose the ball in that light and that's what happened a couple of times. We have played here before, we have played here for years so we knew what to expect. As a team we don't complain about things like these, it's not in our control," Rahul said. The second T20 International of the series will be played in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.