The “hard time” that he endured in the wake of a chat show controversy has “humbled” K.L. Rahul and the Indian batsman says he now values his natonal cap more than ever.
Both Rahul and Hardik Pandya were provisionally suspended for their comments on women during a popular chat show. Their bans were later revoked pending an inquiry.
The off-field controversy erupted after Rahul endured a dismal run in the four-Test series in Australia but he is back in the national team after finding his feet with the India A side.
“It was a hard time no doubt. I mean, as a player, as a person, everyone has to go through difficult times and it was my time to go through that and I like I said it gave me time to reflect on my game, on myself. I have always been someone who takes things as it comes,” said Rahul after the second T20 International.
India lost the short series 0-2 but Rahul made a successful comeback with scores of 47 and 50. After he was sent back from Australia, Rahul was given the opportunity to regain form in the India A home series against England Lions and he made it count.
Asked if the entire controversy has changed him as a person, the 26-year-old said: “It has humbled me a little bit and you know. I respect the opportunity that I have gotten to play for the country. The dream of every kid is to play for the country and I am no different.”
“Just to value where I am, just to keep making opportunities count and put my head down and keep working on my cricket,” said the man from Karnataka.
Rahul said the India A stint under coach Rahul Dravid helped him immensely.
“I got some time off from international cricket, so I could come back to India and reflect on what was not going right for me. Fortunately, I got to play some India A games where the pressure is a bit less and where I could focus on my skill and my technique,” said Rahul.
“I got to spend a lot of time with Rahul Dravid, working on my game and chatting about cricket. He helped a lot in the five games I played for India A. The time I have spent in the middle has helped.
It is nice to be back with the boys and back in blue,” the relief was palpable as he spoke.