‘Outside noise did affect me’, reveals wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul

NEW DELHI: India’s wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul revealed on Saturday that despite trying to ignore it for an extended period, the external criticism did have an impact on him during his challenging times.
In an IPL match for Lucknow Super Giants against Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 1, Rahul suffered a severe injury where his “tendon was ripped apart.” The extent of this injury necessitated surgical treatment and significantly affected both his physical and mental state.Before his injury, Rahul encountered significant scrutiny and criticism regarding his batting performance. Nonetheless, the team management continued to demonstrate steadfast belief in his abilities.
He also spoke about the strategies he employed to block out or disregard the external criticism and distractions.
“I tried to address outside noise for a long time, I thought it won’t affect me, but in the last year or so it started affecting me. And then I realised that I will have to work on it. And when I got time, outside of the game, I tried to work on that side – mentally you got to get a lot stronger, a lot more thick-skinned.
“So yeah, so that really helped me being away from the game.”
‘Team Combination’
In the media interaction, Rahul also indicated that the team will continue with five bowlers in Hardik Pandya‘s absence. Suryakumar Yadav will bat at six like he did in Dharamsala.
Asked if Hardik’s absence will change his mindset with the bat at number five, he said: “Hardik has also been a very important member of the team and he has been there and he does a very important role for the team.
“So not having him is also a bit of a miss for the team. But it’s unfortunate what happened. And yeah, we also at some point have to look at that and the present is that he is not available for this game.
“Surya will probably get his chance and we know what Surya can do. So, our confidence is in Surya till Hardik comes back.”

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‘Setting up target’
India have ended up chasing in all five games and have done that successfully.
In the remaining four league games, India won’t mind batting first if the situation arises and management has also spoken about that possibility.
“We have not really gone too much into it.
“So whatever opportunities we’ve gotten we’ve done well but again it will be a good opportunity in the next four games if we can get to bat first. It’ll be a good challenge for us to just see how to pace the innings and it’s been some time since we’ve batted first,” he added.
(With PTI inputs)

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