From Injury to Centurion Glory and Social Media Struggles

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After a long time, Team India is facing South Africa donning the white jersey. After a long, they are back in their longest format of the game. India and South Africa are facing each other in a two-match Test series. From December 26, both teams are playing the first Test match. In that match, when India was facing a batting disaster, KL Rahul came and held control of the innings. On the second day of the Test match, the wicketkeeper-batter of India scored an amazing innings. After that responsible innings, he opened up about the innings, his journey till the match, and recovering from the injury.

Rahul on His Innings:

KL’s innings of 101 runs in that crucial situation is worthy to be celebrated. The year 2023 started with a note so good note for KL Rahul. He was dropped from the playing XI of the ‘Border-Gavaskar Trophy’. But he came back in the best way. From that downtime, now KL Rahul is India’s responsible wicketkeeper-batter of the middle order. 

On December 26, India and South Africa met for the first Test match of the series. While batting first, the Indian batting order struggled since the beginning. KL Rahul was the savior of the match. On one hand, wickets were falling, and on the other hand, KL Rahul was holding the innings. He played an amazing knock of 101 runs in 137 balls. That innings was an asset for the team. That helped India to reach a fighting total. 

After his responsible innings at Centurion, KL Rahul talked about his innings. He shared his journey from recovery to this Test hundred. He said, “When the injury happened and I was away from the game for a long time, I worked on myself and tried to go back to the person that I am,” Rahul said after his masterful 101, which is perhaps his best Test hundred to date. “I realized that I can’t get affected by these things and change myself; rather I shouldn’t change myself. It’s difficult to remain yourself, remain true to your personality when there’s so much happening; it’s the hardest thing. But like anything else in cricket and life, there are ways to work on it, there are people who can help you if your mind is open. So when I was out of the game, I worked on myself and worked on remaining calmer and taking care of what was happening inside my head.”

Then he added, “There’s no point expressing myself on social media. People who want to say things will still say it. What I have realized is that in sport, if you are in the public eye, your performance is the only way you can stay away from negative comments. What I try to do is focus on my game and performance. The farther you stay from these things, the better.”

Social Media Negativity and Special Venue:

In the sports world, if success is being received by a player then on the other side, he is receiving the criticism too. This is a part of their life. Sometimes it also affects them. After scoring a hundred, Rahul concentrated on this serious matter. He said, “It’s difficult,” he explained. “You have a personality and have certain personality traits and characteristics, and all that gets challenged when you are playing international cricket. As a person, as a cricketer, and as an individual you are challenged each day, each moment. There’s social media pressure like you [reporter] said. Today people are praising me but three-four months ago, they were going after me. It’s all part of the game but I won’t say that it doesn’t affect me.”

Later he added, “The sooner you realize that staying away from these things is beneficial for your game and mindset, the better it is. You can perform better if you know where to draw the line. Nobody is that great that they can completely avoid the criticism they are getting. Anyone who says it doesn’t affect them at all I’m sure is lying.”

In the centurion Test, Rahul batted in the middle order and played a masterclass innings. On this matter, he said, “Batting in the middle order, what I’ve realized is that you can’t really plan your innings all that much,” Rahul said. “When you walk in, there’s a situation in front of you [and] the situation in the game tells you how you need to play and what you need to do at that time and in that moment. That’s what I tried to do. I try to walk in with a very free and empty mindset when I’m batting in the middle order, see what the game demands of me and try to do my best in that moment. Yesterday and today, the situation was quite clear that I’m batting with the tail and I need to take my chances and try to score as many runs as I can. It came off so I am happy.”

Centurion and KL Rahul have a different story. This is his second Test hundred in that venue. He said, “I have quite enjoyed playing here. The wicket really keeps reminding you that you need to focus throughout and that you’re never set, never really in or out of the game. It’s a fast outfield, so when you time the ball you get boundaries. There will be times when you can score your runs fast, there will be times when you can’t score a run at all… It’s fun to bat here though. You never feel set. You keep playing and missing, and whenever that happens, you need to tell yourself that you need to focus again, it’s not an easy wicket. Even when you’re 70-80, you never feel like you’ll score 30-40 runs in the next hour. That’s one thing that helps me keep focus, doesn’t let you think too far ahead.”

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