'Jo naam aap ne liye…': KL Rahul's apt reply to reporter's MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma question ahead of Zimbabwe ODIs - - Telling the truth- always!
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‘Jo naam aap ne liye…’: KL Rahul’s apt reply to reporter’s MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma question ahead of Zimbabwe ODIs

It’s not easy to straightaway get going when you have been out from international cricket for close to three months. It perhaps becomes doubly difficult when you have been given the added responsibility of leading an inexperienced side. But KL Rahul is no stranger to challenges and one thing even his greatest critics wouldn’t doubt about is his class as a top-order batter.Rahul, who is making a comeback to the Indian side for the Zimbabwe ODIs after along injury lay-off and a bout with Covid-19, will be leading the team in the three ODIs in Harare.

For someone who has played a lot of cricket under MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, it was natural that the stylish right-hander was asked whether he would want to follow, to which Rahul came up with a fantastic reply. Originality is very important, and Rahul believes that in his short tenure as leader, he has tried to be himself and let others in the team maintain their own individually.

“I can’t go out there and be someone else. Then I won’t be fair to myself, to the team, or to the game. I try and be myself and let the other players be themselves as they want,” Rahul said in a press conference ahead of the series opener when asked if he had tried to follow the footsteps of the great MS Dhoni.

“Jo naam aapne lie (the names that you’ve taken) I can’t even compare myself with these guys (MSD), their numbers and achievement are far greater in terms of what they have done for the country, and I don’t think any name could be taken in the same breath,” he reminded everyone.

“… And this is my second series as captain, and obviously, I have played under him and learnt a lot from him as player. As you have been playing for so many years, you will pick some good qualities from these guys,” he said.

Rahul hasn’t had a good start to his captaincy career. He has led India in three ODIs and a Test match and India have lost all of them. He would be looking to change that and tell the selectors that he is a viable option to take over the mantle after regular captain Rohit Sharma’s tenure gets over.

‘Kuldeep, Chahar and I have prepared well’: KL Rahul
Rahul also shared his thoughts on the importance to manage the workload of the players.

“Myself, Kuldeep and Deepak (Chahar), we were all at NCA (for rehab) and were all preparing for this series.

“So I know they have prepared well and they know what they need to do. For me, it’s about managing them and giving them that confidence, allow them to express themselves, and have that freedom to do what they want to do,” the skipper said.

Rahul understands that it’s a challenge he would relish as a skipper.

“It will be (challenging) for any leader as to how good you are in managing your players and bringing the best out of them.

“Everybody is in a different place in their careers, and few of us have come back from injuries, few have played a lot of cricket and how do you manage their bodies and how do you manage mindset and nervousness of guys who are coming after a long break, and those are challenges as a leader,” he accepted the issues that could be tricky.

Just like Kuldeep and Chahar are making comebacks, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Mohammed Siraj have been part of ODI set-up for the last six months.

“Avesh, Siraj and Prasidh have been playing continuously since the start of IPL. It is about little bit of managing their bodies and little bit of strategies and sit and speak with them,” said Rahul while stressing that his job will be to marry the individual goals and plans with the collective team strategy.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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