It was a very uncharacteristic kind of innings from KL Rahul. Often the one to take charge and score at a brisk pace early on, Rahul went into the defensive and weathered the Australian pace storm with poise. He ducked, attacked when need be and left alone deliveries with watchfulness. For Rahul, it was the most challenging morning session till date. “It has been a fantastic cricket wicket. I can say, is the toughest session I have faced in Test cricket so far,” Rahul said. “They put the ball in the right areas and they swung the ball, bowled with lot of pace and venom. There is something in it for bowlers and it will keep us interested in the 2nd innings when we go out there to bowl.
“When I was batting in the first session, my intent was to give the ball and the bowlers the respect and then come out in the second session and make some runs.”
“Cummins was fast, he was accurate. This wicket is obviously helping them as well. The conditions were nice and cool, guess they could bowl longer spells and they didn't really get tired. You can say that he's been the guy who has, as a fast bowler, challenged us in this series.”
Challenge apart, Rahul tried to hook one of Cummins’ bouncers. This after he was set and had soaked in all the early morning pressure. Rahul later said, he rued his shot execution. “It was horrible execution for sure. But having batted out there in the middle for long time, I thought I could have taken him on as there were no fielders at the back. My intent was right. Hopefully in the second innings, I can get him away. So I will go out with a positive intent in 2nd innings again.”
Rahul has scored five half centuries thus far but yet to convert any of those into a big one. The opener believed a big one was just round the corner.
“I am obviously a little disappointed that I have not been able to convert the starts and get big runs for the team. As an opening batsmen, my responsibility is to spend as much time in the middle as I can, try and get big scores in the first innings so that we don’t have to bat in the second innings.
“On a personal front, hasn’t been a bad series for me. I got starts, batted really well, enjoyed batted in the middle. The Australian bowlers haven’t made it easy. They have challenged us in all the games. Hopefully one good knock in the second innings might be the time. Might be the knock I have been waiting for the whole series.”