The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 2 , 2016

Want to be consistent in all formats, says Rahul

Lokesh Rahul

Calcutta: Over the past 10-12 months, Lokesh Rahul has ensured to make use of most of the opportunities coming his way. Having scored a superb 158 in the ongoing second Test at the Sabina Park in Kingston, Rahul stressed on the need to be consistent in all formats of the game. Also, he believes he's in a good space.

"Over the last couple of months, I've been performing well. I've been consistent in all the three formats and that's what I want to do as a cricketer - being consistent in all the three formats... Go out there play to the best of my abilities, and carry out my roles and responsibilities for the team," he said after the second day's play.

"Right now, I'm in a good space. I'm only watching the ball and trying to judge it. And if I think it's there to be hit, I don't take half-measures.

"It's one thing that doesn't change, no matter which format you are playing. When the ball is there to be hit, you hit it. That's the only thing that runs in my mind.

"Again, I'm very happy with the space I'm in and the focus levels have been great. I just tried to keep things simple. I've been in good form for the last three-four months. I've been moving well and hitting the ball well too," Rahul added.

Giving the West Indies bowlers their due credit, Rahul said that hitting through the line was difficult on the two-paced Sabina Park pitch.

"Well, you probably have to give a little bit of credit to the West Indies bowlers as well. They came in with a set plan this morning - to keep it tight and not give away easy runs. They tried to bowl the fourth and fifth stump channel.

"The wicket obviously isn't the easiest to bat on. It is a little spongy sometimes and two-paced. So, you couldn't play through the line or go after the bowlers when they bowled at those channels," he explained.

Shannon Gabriel the toughest of all the West Indies bowlers, Rahul specified. "Gabriel was challenging in every spell. We obviously know that he is one of their strike bowlers.

"Our plan with him was to see him through and give the ball the respect it demanded and put the bad balls away. We were in no hurry, so we could take out time and wait for the loose balls."

The biggest challenge for Rahul, though, was the weather in Kingston. "Weather was obviously the biggest challenge. It was a very hot day.

"When I went into bat yesterday, the wicket was still a little two-paced and a little damp, and the ball was doing a little bit.

"Those were the challenges but once I got a few runs under my belt and spent a little time on the wicket, I felt comfortable. Besides, to have Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin and the other guys speak highly of me definitely adds to my confidence," Rahul said.

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