Kingston: Describing KL Rahul as a ‘great package’ for the team, India Test skipper Virat Kohli has said that the energetic opener is ready to pounce on the opportunity given to him following an injury to Murali Vijay.
India will be forced to change their playing XI for the second Test against West Indies as Vijay failed to recover fully from a thumb injury sustained during the first innings of the opening match in Antigua.
“KL (Rahul) is excited. KL is ready. KL is batting really well and that’s obviously a very good thing for the team,” Kohli said on the eve of the second match at Sabina Park. “Well, he has been in a very good zone. He scored runs in the practice games, he scored in (the ODI series in) Zimbabwe, we all know that. He had a great IPL season. I think that was the turnaround for confidence as far as he’s concerned. Last year, he had a good tour to Sri Lanka, got a hundred there. Again, didn’t play against South Africa (at home).”
The 27-year-old captain further reposed his faith in Rahul while highlighting the opener’s all-round abilities as a cricketer.
“It’s more a case of a guy waiting for an opportunity. You can see that with him. You can sense it. He wants to play. He’s batting really well, he wants to make it count. He wants to get big runs. I’m confident of his abilities. He’s pretty compact, he’s a solid opener, and he’s a great fielder as well. Gives you that wicketkeeping option as well, in case something happens to (Wridhimann) Saha,” Kohli added.
While pointing out that Sabina Park will be a result-oriented ground, Kohli called on his buoyant side to show same determination and discipline which they displayed in Antigua.
“We’re not focusing on the opposition too much,” he said. “We are happy that the wicket is going to have some bounce and carry. There was decent enough bounce in Antigua for us to exploit whatever help was there. Jamaica is going to be even better, it’s a result-oriented ground, we all know that. We’re quite excited about it.
“We’ve got good pace, the bowlers are bowling good areas. We’d just like to focus on that and believe that our batsmen are good enough to tackle any pace and bounce that West Indies’ bowlers have. The plan is to go out there and play with the determination and focus that we showed in the first game.”
India are leading the four-Test series 1-0 after defeating the West Indies by an innings and 92 runs inside four days in the first match. (ANI)