Rajkot: KL Rahul, who was Man-of-the-Match in the second ODI which India won against Australia by 36 runs at Rajkot to make it 1-1 in the ongoing three-match series, said that he could not have asked for a better start to the dual role he was assigned to perform by his captain and the team management.
"I couldn't have asked for a better start. Each day I've been thrown a different role or responsibility and I'm enjoying it for now. Batting at No. 5 is a different position. The only plan I had was to give myself a couple of balls. Having had a chat with Virat, he said the ball is coming on nicely. Once I got a couple balls out of the middle of the bat, then it just becomes about bat and ball. All the other things in your mind fade away. Very happy with the way I got a few partnerships. The past couple of months I had to keep for Karnataka as well so hopefully I'll keep the bowlers happy," said Rahul.
Meanwhile talking about batting at No 4, India captain Virat Kohli said, " We live in the days of social media and a panic button being pressed too early. It's very important to figure out the best team you can put on the park and when you see how KL was batting today, it's very difficult to leave someone like that out. Batting at No. 5 and batting like that for the team, this is probably the best he's played at international level. That knock showed maturity and class."
" We know exactly what we're doing in the change room. On the outside there's a lot of panic that we don't really focus on. Back to No. 3 was good for the team so I'm happy from that point of view that it helped the team. In ODI cricket, Shikhar has been one of our most consistent performers. I'm very happy that he scored runs as well. It always augurs well when he and Rohit score runs. I asked Rohit briefly just now. It's that left shoulder that has popped out a few times. There's no tear so hopefully he should be back for the next game," said Kohli.
Austrlia skipper Aaron Finch said, "India played very well. The whole way through the first innings, we were one wicket shy of containing then where they needed to be. Zampa is bowling really well at the moment. I thought the way that Smithy started today, though not quite going through to the end, and Marnus in his first hit in ODIs, they spend every minute of the day together. You just have to make sure that when you get in, you capitalize and go really big. We were just slight behind as the run rate kept going up."