KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

KL Rahul has given an insight into what makes India’s pace-bowling attack so special. The stand-in Indian Test vice-captain said the pacers, who are fiercely competitive even while bowling in the nets, don’t consider the batters “teammates” and instead “terrify” them with their skills.

The quartet of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Shardul Thakur shone brightly in India’s historic win over South Africa. The visitors trounced the Proteas in Centurion by 113 runs, becoming the first Asian team to do so at the venue. The four pacers picked up 18 of 20 wickets, with Mohammed Shami alone taking eight.

Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (AP Photos)
Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (AP Photos)

KL Rahul Admits Playing Current Pacers At Nets Is A Difficult Aspect As They Keep Batsmen Terrified

Speaking after the Test, KL Rahul, the stand-in vice-captain who received the Player of the Match award for his 123 (260) in the first innings, said the batters “don’t enjoy” facing them in the nets.

“Playing them at the nets is more difficult because we don’t enjoy facing them in the nets. Even at the nets, they keep us terrified. They don’t look at us as teammates, they are very, very competitive athletes and players, ” said KL Rahul.

KL Rahul after his century in Centurion. Photo- AFP
KL Rahul after his century in Centurion. Photo- AFP

The stand-in vice-captain feels India is lucky to have a number of quality fast-bowlers, including the likes of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav on the bench.

KL Rahul continued: “We are very lucky to have such quality in our bowling line-up. Two, three people who are at the bench as well. In Umesh and Ishant, we have a great bench strength. It’s a very positive sign for Team India that there are so many quality fast bowlers in the team and on the bench.”

This was India’s fourth overseas Test win in 2021-the joint-most wins outside Asia in a calendar year, with the same group of fast bowlers being the difference in England and Australia as well. Earlier, skipper Virat Kohli also credited them for Indian cricket’s success in the last four to five years. Virat Kohli may not have been successful with the bat this year but he became the first Indian captain to win three boxing day Test matches.

2021 is only the second time India have had won four Tests outside Asia in a calendar year (Brisbane in Australia, Lord’s and Oval in England, Centurion in South Africa). The only previous instance was in 2018 where they won in Johannesburg in South Africa, Nottingham in England, and Adelaide & Melbourne in Australia.

KL Rahul: Mohammed Shami Will Scale New Highs In 2022

Speaking about Mohammed Shami, also his former teammate at Punjab Kings, KL Rahul argued that 2021 isn’t “special” for him because of the strong performances he has put in over the last three to four years. He hopes that the right-arm pacer will “scale new highs” next year.

Team India made light work of the South Africans on Day 5, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. With the help of a wonderful century by vice-captain KL Rahul, India posted a total of 327 runs and backed it up with some impressive bowling performances. After being bundled out for 197 and 191 in their respective innings, South Africa lost to India for the very first time at Centurion by a margin of 113 runs.

Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami. Image Credits: Twitter

KL Rahul said: “I think, in the last 3-4 years, he has come up with such performances. I don’t think it will be a special year for him in terms of the performances he has put in. I think he has been a really key bowler and a very strong player who has done well for us in all conditions. Hopefully, he can keep getting better and scale new highs in 2022.”

While Mohammed Shami picked eight wickets in the Test, including a brilliant fifer in the first innings, Jasprit Bumrah made five crucial breakthroughs overall after KL Rahul’s knock of 123. Team India’s new year will kick off on January 3 when they take on South Africa in the second Test in Johannesburg.

India 327 (Rahul 123, Agarwal 60, Ngidi 6-71) and 174 (Pant 34, Rabada 4-42, Jansen 4-55) beat South Africa 197 (Bavuma 52, Shami 5-44) and 191 (Elgar 77, Bumrah 3-50, Shami 3-63) by 113 runs