Everybody likes me when I score runs: KL Rahul takes a dig at Sanjay Manjrekar after 62-run knock
After scoring a 40-ball 62 in the first T20I against West Indies, India’s KL Rahul said that even though he was looking to make the most of the opportunities, he did not want to engage in worrying about his T20 World Cup 2020 berth.
After India’s highest-ever run chase on Friday, former Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar complimented Rahul for his innings that laid the foundation. “Personally, when you strike at 150, I like Rahul the best,” said Manjrekar interviewing him after the match. Rahul was quick to respond as he said, “Everybody likes me when I score runs, that’s how it goes. I don’t plan my innings according to the strike rate.”
“It’s 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,” Rahul said at the post-match press conference. “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.”
The pitch at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad was not the easiest wicket to bat despite both sides scoring 200-plus runs. “The wicket wasn’t bad, both teams scored 200 plus and we chased it in 19 overs but it wasn’t the easiest wicket to bat on,” Rahul said. India won the match by six wickets.
Rahul also came up with a 100-run second-wicket partnership with skipper Virat Kohli, who hit a career-best 94 not out. “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.”
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“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,” he added. “We got 2-3 decisions to go in our favour. I think it’s good to keep the game fair. As a bowler you make the mistake of overstepping and somebody sitting there to see it makes the game more fair.”
Speaking on the low flood lights at the ground, Rahul said, “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.”
The second T20I will be played in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.