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Few batting slots you can never take KL Rahul on Team India

KL Rahul has emerged as one of India's premier batsmen in the limited overs formats. If you ask the various players in the world, they would say next to Kohli, in terms of dominating batsman in India, it is KL Rahul. Rahul is closing in on Shikhar Dhawan to open the innings in ODIs for India with his superior batting skills, as displayed in T20 games.

In a chat recently, Rahul said, "Humbled by Rohit's words (that KL Rahul is the first choice and then it's decided between me and Dhawan in T20Is). I have been a huge fan of his batting and I have played with him for a few years now but he is someone who is in the team, how do I say, like some cricketers get dumbstruck after watching Sachin Tendulkar, they don't know what to say. When I am with Rohit off the field I have still not been able to get through. "But he is someone in the team who has given me that sense that he has a lot of faith in me and as a senior player I have seen that he has backed me and stood by me on a lot of instances. When senior players feel like there is a guy who can take responsibility and can be amongst one of the senior players that gives a young player or a player who has not played consistently for the country a lot of confidence," KL Rahul added.

He believes that there is competition for certain slots in the team, while there are some which cannot be taken. "Ever since I have come in the team in 2014, in Test matches or ODIs or T20Is there has always been a healthy competition for the opening slot or number 4 position. There have been a few slots you know that you can never take for a while at least. There has always been a healthy competition and players enjoy it as it motivates us to put harder and harder. It stops us from being lazy and complacent and that is what we are striving for. It is amazing," KL Rahul asserted.

While he lost out on a place in the Test squad, KL Rahul has since emerged as a go to player in the shorter formats, more so in T20 cricket. He is currently Indias first choice opener in the shortest format and also donned the wicket-keeping gloves during the tour of New Zealand. He said that there is a lot of healthy competition among players to secure a place in the playing XI and that is what motivates them to keep doing better.

Rahul believes the suspension that followed his unsavoury comments about women on a TV show last year completely changed his thought process about his game, resulting in consistent performances. Rahul and Hardik Pandya faced severe criticism following their sexist remarks on 'Koffee with Karan', and were called back home from Australia in January last year after being suspended by the BCCI's Committee of Administrators (COA). "A lot of credit for my consistent performance goes to how differently I started thinking after 2019.

With this suspension and with all that happened, I was tempted or I was in a way wanted to be selfish and play for myself, and I failed. So, I told myself I need to go out and do what the team wants me to do," Rahul said. Rahul's fortunes surged as he not only replaced Rishabh Pant in whiteball cricket but also scored 303 runs in five innings at an average of 75.75 and a strike rate of 114.77 in ODIs.

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