Rahul has copped a fair bit of criticism of late for his strike rate and the stylish batter believes that it is difficult to maintain the same tempo throughout an innings.
“It is something that every player works towards (strike-rate). No one is perfect. Everyone is working towards something,” said Rahul, who batted at a strike-rate of 122.22 during the Asia Cup in UAE.
However, Rahul’s career T20I strike-rate is 140 plus across 61 games but it is primarily because he makes it up during the back-10 of an innings.
“Strike-rates are taken on an overall basis,” he said and then gave his rationale behind the argument.
“You never see that a batter has played at a certain strike-rate (throughout). Whether it was important for him to play at a strike-rate of 200 or whether the team could have still won with the batter playing at 100 or 120, these things are not always analysed. So when you look at (overall), it looks slow,” Rahul said.
But Rahul is working on his strike-rate.
“It is something I am working on. Obviously, the goals have been defined to each player in the last 10-12 months. Everyone has a clear understanding as to what is expected out of him. I am just working towards how I can better myself as an opening batter,” said the India vice-captain ahead of the first T20 against Australia.
Rahul made a comeback with the ODIs in Zimbabwe, having recovered from sports hernia.
“I am feeling good about my game. Getting some game after the injury was very important. Going to Zimbabwe was very crucial. It will be fun to play at home. It has been a while for me.”
“Team environment has allowed players to learn from their mistakes”
Rahul is happy to be a part of a dressing room that allows players to learn from their mistakes.
“The most important thing for the player in the room is what captain and coach and teammates think of him and we know what is expected out of each person. Everyone is trying to give their best not every time a player will succeed.
“We have created an environment where players are not afraid to fail or not afraid to make mistakes. Even if mistakes happen this is what we do. We work the hardest for this.”
Criticism will be there but what this Indian team believes is self criticism.
“Criticism everyone does but we criticise ourselves the most. We are playing for the country and when we don’t do well it hurts us the most,” he said.
Karthik or Pant? Depends on conditions
On the Dinesh Karthik versus Rishabh Pant debate, Rahul added: “It depends what kind of combination we are going with on that day. It depends on the surface and what teams we play against, these are not easy decisions to take. Both of them are high quality players and both have different roles.”
Different mistakes happened at different events
India will be looking to finalise their combinations for the T20 World Cup in the six home games against Australia and South Africa. Rahul said the team is yet to play to its full potential.
“Skill wise our performance was only 80-85 percent. We are still not very good in terms of batting or excellent in bowling or fielding. There are a few things we need to fix.
“You can only win big events if all these are done well and the team comes together to win the championship.”
At last year’s T20 World Cup and this year’s Asia Cup, the mistakes committed were different.
“What happened in the Asia Cup and the 2021 World Cup (both early exit), we made (committed) different mistakes in those two events. We are very clear about what went wrong and we are trying to learn from it,” he said.