How Smith, Kane & AB helped Rahul bat in middle-order

Rajkot: K.L. Rahul, who played a match-winning knock in the second ODI against Australia, has revealed that in order to bat in the middle-order, he watched a lot of videos of Steve Smith, AB de Villiers and Kane Williamson.

In the ongoing ODI series, Rahul batted at number three in the first ODI — which India lost by 10 wickets — before being asked to play the role of a finisher in Rajkot where the hosts emerged victoriously.

And Rahul showed how versatile a batsman he was, finishing with a breezy 52-ball 80 to pilot his side to a match-winning — and series-leveling — total.

“I just spoke a lot more to middle-order batsmen. I watched a lot of videos, I spoke a lot to Virat (Kohli), watched a lot of videos of AB or Steve Smith for the matter on how they build their innings,” Rahul said at the post-match press conference on Friday after India defeated Australia by 36 runs.

“Kane Williamson, who I have tried to go back and watch some of his videos to see how they build their innings, and how they play in certain situations.

“Only thing I have tried is how to be better in certain situations. And reading of the game has got a lot better now that I have played in different positions,” he added.

The Karnataka batsman has scores of 102, 77, 45, 54, 47 and 80 in his last 6 international matches (T20Is and ODIs) while batting at different positions.

“Look I have always opened the batting. That is the position, order I am most comfortable with, and I know how to build my innings. But I get to learn so much about my skills about my batting… batting as art when I get the chance to bat at 3 or 4 or 5,” he said.

“I’m kind of enjoying it (batting at different positions), I’m finding new ways to counter bowlers, new ways to handle situations. I don’t look at it as pressure, something like an opportunity and I will try to play it the best I can,” he added.

In the Rajkot ODI, Rahul also had a good stint behind the stumps, taking two catches and effecting the dismissal of Australian captain Aaron Finch with a sharp stumping.

The series decider will be played at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.


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