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India vs England: KL Rahul Has Learnt the Art of Handling Pressure Feels Childhood Coach Jairaj Muthu

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: July 8, 2018, 9:07 AM IST
India vs England: KL Rahul Has Learnt the Art of Handling Pressure Feels Childhood Coach Jairaj Muthu

KL Rahul celebrates after scoring a hundred on Tuesday. (BCCI)

KL Rahul might have had a one-off bad game against England in the second T20I in Cardiff — after a brilliant hundred in the series opener — but the batsman has shown great consistency in the last few months with an excellent show in the IPL and the subsequent T20Is against Ireland. And childhood coach Jairaj Muthu is not at all surprised with the results that his ward is getting on the international stage.

Muthu feels that Rahul is so obsessed with his game that he can even sacrifice a good meal or a good night's sleep in order to train and fine-tune his skills.

"Rahul loves to bat. There isn't anything which is closer to his heart than his batting. He doesn't spend anything less than six hours per day in the nets. Plus, whenever he is at home, his father gives him throwdowns. He is very committed. Batting means everything to him," Jairaj told TOI.

"Even when he is sleeping, if someone wakes him up at midnight and tells him to bat, he will," says Muthu. "Even when he is informed in the nets about his last six deliveries, he will make it 10 and again ask for another round of bowling. He is very hungry," he said.

Muthu feels that the injuries that Rahul suffered actually acted as a boon in disguise and helped him introspect and come back stronger on the international stage.

"International cricket is all about how you handle pressure and Rahul did a lot of mental preparation while recovering from his injuries. Injuries gave him time to think," the coach said.

Having failed in his first year of competitive cricket, Rahul impressed his coach in Mangalore by scoring two back-to-back double centuries at the under-13 level as the batsman got a feel of the challenges that lay ahead.

"In his first year of competitive cricket, he didn't do that well. From the second year onwards, he was right on the ball. I only told him to watch the ball correctly. He is very obedient," Muthu said.

Muthu feels Rahul’s decision to play aggressive but copybook cricket shall help him across all formats. "From IPL onwards, he has decided not to play across the line, no matter what. He is also the best reverse sweep player, but he isn't playing that shot. He moves into the line of the ball and doesn't play away from the body," Muthu said.

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First Published: July 8, 2018, 8:55 AM IST

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