KL Rahul made 44 and 38 in the Antigua Test against West Indies. (Image credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul had weathered the storm on day 1 of the first Test between India and West Indies at North Sound in Antigua. After losing Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli cheaply, Rahul shared a wonderful partnership with Ajinkya Rahane which helped India recover to a solid position. Rahul fell for 44 but he had put India on course for a big total. In the second innings, Rahul again shared a solid partnership with Virat Kohli but he failed to convert a start yet again as he missed the paddle sweep to be bowled by Roston Chase.
Speaking after the end of the day, Rahul said technically he felt better but he needed to be patient as he failed to convert his starts.
"(I am) very disappointed but there are a lot of things I'm doing right. (I) Just need to keep my head down and show some patience. I just have to prolong the good things I'm doing till I get to 35-45. I'm batting well, I looked comfortable in both the innings and my head-space is very good. Happy about a lot of things. If I can keep my patience and keep batting the way I do in the first 60-80 balls, if I continue to do that for 200-250 balls then it'll obviously benefit me and the team," Rahul said.
Rahul's shot selection was criticised as he missed the paddle sweep to Chase and was bowled. The right-hander, who has hit only one century and one fifty in the last couple of, insisted that it was a battle which the bowler won and he was not disappointed with the choice of stroke.
"Sometimes, when you plan a sweep or a paddle-sweep, there is a certain percentage of premeditation. I had played the off-spinner for 5-6 overs and I knew the lines he was bowling. I was thinking about runs and since I hit him for a boundary before the (wicket-taking) ball, I knew he would try to bowl a better length which would be easy for me to paddle. Unfortunately, I didn't execute the shot really well. Lot of things seem right when they come off. If they don't, you can sit and dissect on a lot of things. Unfortunately, it's a battle he won," Rahul said.
Kohli and Rahane's fifties have helped India stretch their lead to over 250 runs and India would be hoping to set West Indies a big target and push for a win with only two days remaining.