India’s stand-in skipper in Tests, KL Rahul acknowledged that he didn’t know how to handle the conditions in South Africa in 2017/18. However, he also added that he has watched a number of videos to structure his batting to tackle ‘spongy’ conditions in the Rainbow nation. India will be locking horns in South Africa in a bid to win a maiden Test series in the Rainbow Nation. Rahul concedes South Africa presents an altogether different trial though, especially for the batters.
KL Rahul further stated that Team India is now better prepared than their last tour of South Africa in 2018. Notably, Rahul missed out on the 2-Test home series against New Zealand after amassing 315 runs in a successful England tour. He smashed a century and a couple of fifty-plus scores, forging a solid opening partnership with Rohit Sharma as India led the series 2-1 before it was suspended.
Rahul was establishing himself as one of the mainstays of the limited-overs side after the 2019 World Cup but he was out of contention for a long period of time from Test cricket. He did not play Tests for India since India’s tour of West Indies 2019, but the opener was brought back into the XI after an injury to Shubman Gill on India’s tour of England.
During the virtual press conference ahead of the Centurion Test, KL Rahul said, “Last time I came here was 3-4 years ago, and it was my first tour to South Africa, so I didn’t really know what to expect and how to handle these conditions. But this time around, having played two Test matches here before and having watched a lot of videos of how the conditions are here, we are slightly better prepared.”
He further elaborated, “And we’ve had great preparation going into the Test match, so really excited about 26th and hopefully, I and Mayank can get our team off to a good start and try and win the game for our team. When I played the last time, each time the wicket was a bit difficult and you had to understand and adjust according to that. So that becomes a huge challenge for both batters and bowlers.”