Harare: India’s stand-in captain KL Rahul on Wednesday credited the team management for creating an environment where players thrive on his return to the fold after injury rather than feeling insecure about their position as he returns to lead the side against Zimbabwe.
After a near three-month layoff due to a sports hernia and Covid-19, Rahul is all set to lead India in three-match ODI series. When he takes the field on Thursday, it will be only his second full series as captain.
“You might be out for two months but they haven’t forgotten what you have done for the team and the country in the last two-three years.Players actually thrive in such an environment,” the Indian captain said on the eve of the first ODI against Zimbabwe.
The 30-year old also spoke about the importance of backing talent.
“It is this kind of environment that can help a player transform from being a good player to a great player, playing a lot more match-winning innings for his team,” he said.
“It is very important for a player to get the backing of selectors, coach and captain. It gives you so much confidence that your mindset is clear and you can focus on the things that are necessary. It becomes easy for the player that your support group is backing you,” he added.
Rahul, who has led India in four international matches thus far, is yet to taste success.Under him, India were whitewashed in the ODI series in South Africa. He missed the England ODI series where India won 2-1 and the West Indies ODIs, where the Shikhar Dhawan-led side trounced West Indies 3-0.
However, the stylish batter was added to the squad and made captain once his injury cleared for the Zimbabwe series with Dhawan moved to the deputy role.
Speaking about captaincy, the star opener said that he cannot be someone else when quizzed about trying to emulate MS Dhoni or Rohit Sharma in terms of calmness as a leader.
“I can’t go out there and be someone else. Then I won’t be fair to myself, to the team, or to the game. I try to be myself and let the other players be themselves as they want,” Rahul said.
“I can’t even compare myself with these guys, their numbers and achievement are far greater in terms of what they have done for the country, and I don’t think any name could be taken in the same breath. This is my second series as captain, and obviously, I have played under him and learnt a lot from him as a player. As you have been playing for so many years, you will pick some good qualities from these guys,” he added.