Rahul passes the toughest test

By Gaurav Joshi

KL Rahul has a slight grin on his face even as he tries to explain his over ambitious pull stroke against Pat Cummins that resulted in his dismissal in Dharamsala.   In his soft spoken voice he calls its ”˜shocking execution’ but still believes the shot was on because there was no one deep on the leg-side.

Cummins is bowling his 12th over of the day and it is only 10 minutes after lunch. The injury prone bowler is on the brink and trying desperately to get that additional break through.   He has bowled superbly in the morning session in which he has Rahul dropped at slip and also had his hoping around on a pitch that resembled a Australian pitch than an Indian one.

Rahul despite being dropped to an absolute jaffer from Cummins is up for a fight in the first session. He has scored a hundred in Australia but that was on a SCG pitch but according to the man himself this was the best session of fast bowling he had faced in his career.

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins hit the perfect length on countless occasions and Rahul had to be precise in his decision making.   Earlier this series he had found it difficult to get his hands out of the line of the short ball but today the right knee buckled perfectly ensuring his body balance dipped low as did his hands.

Rahul’s father was the biggest fan of Sunil Gavaskar, so to watch his son constantly smell the leather and watch him fly under his eyes would have even impressed the old man.   But it was simply not the short ball, there was the immaculate length and line that Hazelwood bowled which required perfect judgement. Apart from one instance Rahul was precise.

Watching from the outside you could sense he was relishing this challenge.   Like many past great openers he even took his time as the fast bowler was about to start his run up.

After being peppered with short balls, he was aware of the full straight one from Cummins and he dispatched it to the fence with a glorious on drive. The mind was moving and as were the feet.

Rahul has the tendency to play alongside the ball rather than getting behind it. But as this series has prevailed, he is slowly realising the importance of having the head right behind the line. This has assured him of his off-stump which has caused him to leave the ball in a perfect manner.

His innings of 60 might have been truncated by a poor stroke but at the age of 24, Rahul has shown he has the ability as well as the agility to match it against the best bowling attack on a quick pitch.   The man from Mangalore is arguably the best of the next generation after the Kohli, Rahane and Pujara.





Short URL: https://indiandownunder.com.au/?p=8593