With scores of 4, 9 and 9 in first three Super 12 matches, Rahul had a torrid time with the bat. He received solid backing from head coach Rahul Dravid to come good in the tournament and on Wednesday, justified the faith imposed on him by hitting three fours and four sixes at a strike-rate of 156.25.
“I was disappointed at having not contributed for three games. Every innings is important especially in a big tournament like this. So that is the only doubt that is in your mind. But at least I don’t get frustrated or I didn’t feel like my form or my confidence was low.”
“I just didn’t get the runs. It happens in the game. You’re not always going to keep scoring runs. It’s what you feel if you’re feeling confident and you know that good innings will come and it’s around the corner.”
“I knew that in my heart that I was seeing the ball well. Whatever I need to do, my processes were right. So I knew the good knock or good contribution for the team was coming,” said Rahul in the post-match press conference.
Asked about his feelings during the time when he didn’t fire with the bat in the tournament, Rahul said, “My emotions were good. I’m excited to be here. It’s obviously a huge opportunity for all of us, and we all look forward to the World Cup for the last 10 to 12 months. We worked really hard as individuals and as a team.”
“I was still relaxed. I’ve always tried to be as balanced as I can as a person. But whether I do well, whether I don’t do well, I try to judge myself on whether my mindset is right, and whether I’m trying to do the role and the responsibility that the team expects me to do. If I think I’m doing that well, I can go to sleep peacefully.”
Rahul, who ran out Litton Das with a fluid direct hit from deep mid-wicket just after rain stopped play for nearly 50 minutes to set the path for India’s comeback and eventually the five-run victory, credited captain Rohit Sharma as well as Indian team management for supporting him very well in the initial lean phase.
“We’ve all said this a lot of times before as well – the support staff, this is where they play a really important role in creating that environment where a player feels confident, comfortable and there is no doubt about his ability or what he brings to the team. They’ve kept that environment really, really balanced all the time.”
“Whether we do well or don’t do well, we always stay balanced, and the support staff have been really supportive. The captain always backed his players and you can see that. That’s why players always, even if we’ve had a couple of tough innings, we find a way to come back and do well for the team.”
“So it’s been a long — it’s something that you work on as a team. There are things you work on as an individual which helps you. But these are things as a team you work and support staff, the coach, the captain, when they show confidence and faith in you, it gives you that confidence as a player that you will get the backing if you’re going in the right direction.”
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