‘Haven’t thought of making it on time’: KL Rahul on injuries and rehab before ODI World Cup

New Delhi, Dec 29 – India wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul has shared insights into his injuries and rehabilitation process before his return to the ODI World Cup. Rahul revealed that he hadn’t considered the possibility of making it in time for the showpiece event, especially after undergoing surgery on his right thigh.

The 31-year-old Rahul picked up the injury while fielding during an IPL 2023 match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. He abruptly stopped while chasing the ball and eventually had to be helped off the field by the team’s support staff.

This injury cost him the opportunity to represent India in the World Test Championship final, where the team faced a significant 209-run loss against Australia.

Speaking on Star Sports ‘Believe’ series, Rahul said: “During all of this time, I knew there was pressure to come back and all of that, but I had such a bad event that happened in my life that everything else seemed like, okay, it doesn’t, really matter. Everything else seemed smaller compared to, tearing your quadriceps and going through surgery. I couldn’t walk for the first three or four weeks.

“I was on the walker and, then slowly started building myself up during all that time. I don’t think it’s possible to make it in time for the World Cup. That’s what the surgeon told us as well. He said it’ll take five months from the time of surgery.

“Surgery happened in May, so that meant I’d come back just in time for the World Cup, but also, I know how things work, right? You can’t just come straight back into the World Cup. The team wants you to play a few more games before that, just so that they get confidence so that you get confidence. All of that time I was like, okay, I’m just going to take it as it comes. I can’t be stressed,” he added.

Rahul’s comeback to the side after the injury layoff came during the Asia Cup 2023 where showcased his impressive skills behind the stumps.

Now on an upward climb, the 31-year-old recently guided the Indian ODI team to a 2-1 victory against South Africa. During the opening Test against South Africa in Centurian, he was lauded for his efforts in tough batting conditions in the first innings, notching his eighth Test century (101) in a total of just 245.

Speaking on his wicketkeeping skills, Rahul, who plays for Karnataka in first-class cricket, said: “The state that I played for had fabulous wicketkeepers, so I never had to keep wickets. So, I’ve kept in touch with wicketkeeping, but it was mostly in the IPLs or 20-20s. Getting to keep a 50-over game is challenging in terms of physical more than anything else.”

The 31-year-old also shared his experience of working with head coach Rahul Dravid and revealed that they talk mostly about how to create more impact with his batting.

“The only thing we talk about is how much your back hurts. How tired do you get when you’ve kept 50 overs and then you have to go and bat. It’s mostly about how to manage your energy and manage your body… Our conversation mostly is about that and generally, it’s more about batting. I talk more about batting to him and how I can, be better with my batting or how I can create more impact with my batting,” said Rahul.

When asked KL Rahul about playing a key role in taking DRS calls, the wicketkeeper said it feels like 50 per cent luck and 50 per cent is just experience and pressure intensifies when the captain is required to decide within a tight 15-second window.

“I’ve gotten lucky at DRS, and I also feel like it’s a 50 percent luck and 50 percent is just experience. Its Just being in the right position at the right time. We’ve gotten lucky so far. So yeah, hopefully, a few more games for experience. It is a lot of pressure to make, tell the captain to make a call within 15 seconds is difficult because it’s not that you get blamed if it’s not right.

“Rohit is understanding that way and he’s a really nice guy. He still knows about some decisions which you don’t know. I have made some errors and he’s like, okay, it was close. We had to take it. We might have to use it if it goes to waste, which is okay. So that also gives you a bit of confidence, to go to your captain and say, okay, maybe we can take the DRS,” said Rahul.

bc/

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