Showering praise on Virat Kohli, KL Rahul has said the India Test skipper will make records in the game that will be tough to break. After scoring at an average of more than 90 in the ODIs and 100 in the T20Is, the Indian batting star capped off the fine year with a brilliant performance in the recently-concluded Test series against England, where he bagged the Man of the Series award after scoring 655 runs in five matches, including two centuries and as many half-centuries. He also scored a double-century in Mumbai, which was his third double ton this year having previously hit one against the West Indies and New Zealand each.
Speaking to India Today, Rahul said:“Lot to learn from Virat. For him to go out with the same intent and dedication on field each time. He has been someone who may have got a double hundred and next day will come with the same intensity. That’s the kind of leader he is. The kind of runs he has got, the way he leads has been phenomenal.
“We have a lot to learn from him. We are happy to share dressing room with such a great player. He has been around for so many years but still has a lot of cricket let in him. One can only imagine him beating and setting records that don’t think can be beaten,” he added.
Virat Kohli’s men have consolidated their position at the top of the Test rankings after thrashing England 4-0. The visitors started the series brightly by pushing the hosts on backfoot in the first match of the series but it was a one-way traffic after that as the world No. 1 team completely outplayed Alastair Cook’s men.
Speaking about the preparation prior to the series, the Indian opener said the team was eagerly waiting for the five matches to prove themselves. The Indian team had lost their previous three Test series against the visitors but set the records straight in the just concluded series.
It’s one series we were looking forward to. As a top class team we wanted to prove we can win in all conditions and surfaces. We won without having won tosses. Played against the odds and came back strong. It’s was very satisfying for a young team to win with big margins. As the no.1 team this is what is expected from us. We also had great individual performances,” the Karnataka opener said.
India are on an 18-match unbeaten run in Test, most by any Indian side and Rahul said the defeat against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2015 was the turning point for the young team. Chasing 176, the Indian team collapsed dramatically and were all out for a paltry 112.
Recalling the Test, Rahul said:”Galle Test was the turning point. I remember after the Test we had a long chat where we sat together and discussed a lot of things. We chalked out a lot of things we needed to do to be successful. One was to be transparent and very open about each others thoughts and help each other. We will be faced with difficult situations but important not to get bogged down. To go out and express. We we sure we will play aggressively no matter what the situation. We wanted to be a tough team that would fight till the end.”
“We have proved in 12-24 months. We have won all and won easily as well despite being challenged. It’s a great space to be in for the team. For now it’s time to celebrate. We have some time off from Test cricket. When we resume we will look to start playing the same way,” he added.
The 24-year old also insisted the players are enjoying a healthy competition in the team. Karun Nair, who was included in the playing eleven in place of injured Ajinkya Rahane, has made a strong case for himself after hitting a triple-century in Chennai while Parthiv Patel, who replaced an injured Wriddhiman Saha, has also impressed.
“We as a team wouldn’t complain of such competition. It’s very healthy competition. It’s going to keep us going. Will make us working harder. We know we can’t take our positions for granted. The kind of talent we have in the team and on the bench even those playing Ranji trophy, you will see people getting 1000 runs in a season double and triple hundreds. You do feel the competition and makes you work harder. We as players, coaches, selectors dont complain about such competition,” Rahul concluded.