Find out how exactly Virat Kohli and ABD are responsible for KL Rahul’s renaissance

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Image Courtesy: AFP/AP
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One month into the year of 2020, and the month of January has gifted the Indian cricket team their newfound jewel- KL Rahul. Who was known to be an opening batsman has now proven himself to be effective across the batting order. Moreover, the position of a wicket keeper, which was a subject of distress in the absence of MS Dhoni and the fumbling Rishab Pant, is now rightfully taken by Rahul, thanks to his marvellous performance behind the wicket. what is behind the cricketer’s rise to glory? His childhood coach acclaims Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.

Image Courtesy: AFP/AP

Samuel Jayaraj Muthu, who is the head coach at Mangalore Sports Club Cricket Academy, was the mentor of KL Rahul since he was eight years old. In a personal interview with the Times of India, Jayraj credited the Men in Blue skipper Virat Kohli and South Africa cricket team talisman AB de Villers behind Rahul’s fantastic performance.

“He (KL Rahul) spoke with a number of cricketers. He spoke with AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. Virat spoke with him and motivated him. Apart from ABD and Virat, some more former cricketers spoke with him. But I would give the credit to ABD and Virat.” Jayraj said.

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Rahul’s success with the gloves came as a substitute after Rishab Pant suffered a concussion during the first match in the Australia ODI series in January. Despite India losing the match, the Karnataka superstar needed one defending innings to prove his worth as the keeper.

Pointers from the Proteas icon, who was named ICC ODI Player of the Year three times, along with the Indian skipper’s trust in his teammate has worked positively for Rahul, Jayraj stated.

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Rahul’s chidhood mentor continued: “ABD understands him better because he is also a wicket keeper-batsman. Virat showed confidence in him. Virat knew how talented Rahul is. Watch KL’s stance closely, it is very very balanced. He looks calm before the ball reaches him. That’s one of the changes he has brought into his game.” 

Along with a stunning wicket keeping performance, Rahul has also shined as a batsman. In the Aussie ODI series, the 27 year old scored 146 runs with one half century, followed by a swashbuckling performance in the 5-0 whitewash in the New Zealand T20 series, scoring 224 runs, including two fifties. Although India suffered a 3-0 ODI series loss against the Kiwis, Rahul shied with scoring 204 runs in the series across three games.

Carrying on the interview, Jayraj revealed that Rahul started his wicket keeping training from a young age: “When he was a kid, I used to ask him to keep the wickets.”

He also added that the new role of wicket keeping has been productive for Rahul’s performance with the bat: “He was always a wicket-keeper. Wicket keeping for India has come as a blessing in disguise for him. As a wicket keeper you have to keep vigil on all 300 deliveries behind the wickets. Wicket keeping has helped him in his batting.”

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