KL Rahul is in the midst of a tough phase of his cricket career. He's not a sure starter in the limited-overs formats, and poor form has cost him his place in the Indian Tests squad.
Rahul was back to the grind in the domestic circuit, playing for Karnataka in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He has found some form with a match-winning century - a 122-ball 131 - against Kerala at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.
It powered Karnataka to 294 before they bowled Kerala out for 234.
After the game, Rahul admitted to the challenges of the switch to domestic from international cricket.
“The pace of the game is a lot slower," he was quoted as saying by Times of India. "In international cricket, the stadiums are full all the time. The wickets I feel are a lot better at the higher level. Here it's a bit more challenging. If we get to bat first, then the first 10-15 overs is a bit of a challenge. It's like playing the first session in a red-ball game. That's also a good challenge for me because I need to work on my game. Obviously, you have to stay a lot more disciplined."
Rahul took his time initially in the innings, scoring 50 off his first 68 balls before accelerating. He said the initial discipline with his shot selection was key to his eventual success.
“Not as free-flowing as I wanted it to be," he admitted. "But this gives you more satisfaction as a player because you know it was not an easy wicket. You had to work hard. I had to play 100-110 balls to get that hundred. This kind of innings gives you more confidence. I want to challenge myself in difficult conditions, work on my technique, see where I'm faltering. So, to come back here and work on it, to get quality opposition and to get runs against them feels very good,” said the 27-year-old about his innings.
“Once I got set I wanted to make sure I carry on longer because we are only playing five specialist batsmen and three or four all-rounders. I wanted to make sure that one of the batsmen is there till 40-45 overs. Somewhere in the first game (against Jharkhand) I felt that, I could have carried on longer and delayed that risky shot. Today I tried to stay more disciplined. That’s what I am looking to get out of these 8-10 games, make sure I am disciplined with my shot selection.”