Rahul was showing some good promise before the forced break. Now he is back, but the opener seems to have realised that nothing can be taken for granted.
"I haven’t been more happier ever in my life. It has been quite a tough time to be away from cricket, to be away from the thing that you love the most. To just sit at home and watch the boys playing, it was really hard for me. It did make me a lot stronger, made me value my life, my opportunities and here I am, back in. It feels good to be back holding the bat and hitting the ball to the boundary." he said, in an interview to BCCI.
Talking about his time away from the game, Rahul said, "Watching the Champions Trophy and the loss in the final was heart-breaking but the way the boys played the whole tournament was really exciting. I was missing being part of the team. So, rehab basically for me is possibly the most boring thing you can ever do, most honestly. Just wake up every morning and to do the same boring thing again and again is quite tiring and it starts to get to you. You start questioning yourself, asking yourself if you really want to do all these boring things. You chose a sport that is exciting and challenges you every day and here you are, waking up and doing boring things. That was the biggest challenge for me but I woke up and there was something that pushed me to go to the gym, go to the physio, go through the painful process, needling and then pushing my shoulder. It was quite tough but it is part of a sportsman’s life and part of our career. It’s good that things like this happened to me early and I am hoping for an injury-free career going forward. The surgeon and the physio were really happy that I could come back in three months. They were expecting me to come back a lot later but I did pay a lot of attention to my rehab. I was very disciplined and very eager to get back to the team as soon as I could. I didn’t want to miss out on any more matches."
Rahul said that he hasn't spent much time in the nets, but the 3 days before the game should give him enough time to be fit for the first match starting on Wednesday.
"I have had only like three net sessions before I have come here, so I haven’t had a lot of practice or skill-time. I am just coming with a fresh mind and we do have 3-4 days before the Test match starts, so I will make the most of it. I played a practice match in Bangalore before I came here and had a few net sessions before I travelled with the team. That has given me a little bit of confidence and like I said, it is mostly me fighting my doubts and fears in my head more than anything else."
Rahul added that he was looking forward to performing well in Sri Lanka, and that he had learnt his lessons from the last tour, "What I learnt from the last tour was, I left a few balls and got bowled. I went back and worked a lot on my batting. I decided to play a lot more closer to the body and the Kookaburra ball does a little bit for the first 20-25 overs and then you can play your shots and get a lot of runs. So, the first 20-25 overs will be the biggest challenge and if I can fight through that as an opening batsman, then there are a lot of runs to be made." he concluded.
First Published: July 22, 2017, 3:22 PM IST