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KL Rahul stakes claim for India's no. 4 spot in World Cup


ANI Cricket
After his stellar job of staking claim to India's number four spot, KL Rahul insisted he is happy to play in at any position in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, beginning May 30.
The number four place remains one of the toughest positions in one-day cricket but Rahul's performance in the second warm-up match makes him appear a choice straight from central casting.
The 27-year-old struggled against New Zealand in the opening practice match, scoring just six runs. He, however, bounced back in the second game with a blistering 108 off 99 balls against Bangladesh.
"I am really happy with how I have bounced back and this gives me lots of confidence. When you play at this level you have to handle the pressure and the responsibility. We know we have to be tried and tested. Where I play is not for me to decide. It is a team game and you need to be flexible. You need to be ready to bat, whatever you are given, you have to take what is thrown at you." Rahul said.
"Everyone seems to have great confidence with bat and ball, everyone is in great nick. These (warm-up) matches have been a great opportunity to get used to the 50-over format after coming from the IPL," he added.
In his last game, Rahul was skittled by Kiwi pacer Trent Boult. This time around he made no mistake, lifting the pressure off coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli as they finalise plans for their opening World Cup match against South Africa next Wednesday.
Rahul along with MS Dhoni stitched a 164-run partnership for the fifth wicket. The Karnataka-born fired 12 boundaries and four sixes before his eventual dismissal by Sabbir Rahman.
"Batting with Dhoni is always a dream for me. I have been lucky we have been able to share a few big partnerships over the years. He just dominated the spinners and is striking the ball so well. It is a great sign for us and it is just a pleasure to watch him from the other end when he is playing like that," Rahul said.
The right-hander also insisted his time away from the Indian team earlier this year has made him hungrier for success.
"It can give a player new perspective, a chance to reflect. I spent time with friends and family and made the best of the situation. I spent the time working on my batting and technique and understanding how you manage things when your form is not so good. I was just hungry to come back and score runs," he concluded.
World Cup is set to run from May 30 to July 14. India will open its campaign against South Africa on June 5 at Hampshire Bowl, Southampton.

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First Published: May 29 2019 | 12:11 PM IST

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