Rahul has received quite a bit of criticism lately for his strike rate and the sleek hitter thinks it’s hard to maintain the same pace throughout an inning.
“It’s something every player is working towards (strike rate). No one is perfect. Everyone is working towards something,” said Rahul, who hit a 122.22 strike rate during the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
However, Rahul’s career strike rate in T20I is over 140 over 61 games, but that’s mostly because he makes up for it during all 10 one-inning returns.
“Strike rates are taken on an aggregate basis,” he said, then explained his rationale for the argument.
“You never see that a hitter played at a certain hit rate (all the way). If it was important for him to play at 200 hit rate or if the team could still have won with the hitter playing 100 or 120, those things don’t always get parsed. So when you look (overall) it looks slow,” Rahul said.
But Rahul is working on his strike rate.
“It’s something I’m working on. Obviously the goals have been set for each player over the last 10-12 months. Everyone has a clear understanding of what’s expected of them. I’m working just to know how I can better myself as an opening hitter,” the Indian vice-captain said ahead of the first T20 against Australia.
Rahul has made a comeback with the ODIs in Zimbabwe, after recovering from a sports hernia.
“I feel good about my game. Getting a game after the injury was very important. Going to Zimbabwe was very crucial. It will be fun to play at home. It’s been a while for me.”
“The team environment allowed the players to learn from their mistakes”
Rahul is happy to be part of a dressing room that allows players to learn from their mistakes.
“The most important thing for the player in the room is what the captain, the coach and his teammates think of him and we know what is expected of each person. Everyone tries to give their best- even, not every time a player succeeds.
“We’ve created an environment where players aren’t afraid to fail or make mistakes. Even if mistakes happen, that’s what we do. We work hard for it.”
Critics will be there, but what this Indian team believes is self-criticism.
“Everyone criticizes but we criticize ourselves the most. We play for the country and when we don’t do well it hurts us the most,” he said.
Karthik or Pant? Depends on conditions
On the Dinesh Karthik vs. Rishabh Pants debate, Rahul added: “It depends on what kind of combination we are going with that day. It depends on the surface and the teams we are playing against, it’s not easy decisions to make. It’s both great quality players and both have different roles.”
Different errors occurred in different events
India will be looking to finalize their T20 World Cup combinations in the six home games against Australia and South Africa. Rahul said the team have yet to play to their full potential.
“Skill-wise, our performance was only 80-85%. We’re still not very good at hitting or great at bowling or outfield. There are a few things we need to fix.
“You can only win big events if it’s all done right and the team comes together to win the championship.”
In last year’s T20 World Cup and this year’s Asian Cup, the mistakes made were different.
“What happened in the Asian Cup and the 2021 World Cup (both exited prematurely), we made (committed) different mistakes in these two events. We know very clearly what n didn’t work and we’re trying to learn from it,” he said. .