India vs England: Was 'frustrating' to sit out of the Test team, says KL Rahul
- KL Rahul played a Test for India after 2 years
- He scored 84 and 24 in the first Test vs England
- The first Test ended in a draw in Nottingham
After last playing during India's tour of West Indies in 2019, Rahul featured in India's first Test against England at the Trent Bridge, Nottingham. With 84 off 214 balls in the first innings, Rahul top-scored for India. He contributed another 24 in the second innings. As the visitors were chasing a target of 209, the fifth day was washed out by rain and as a result, the Test ended in a draw on Sunday.
"From the last 2-3 series (away vs Australia and vs England in India), I have been sitting outside. The team was doing really well and I was very happy to be part of the team and seeing how we were beating teams in India and then Australia," Rahul said during a virtual press conference after the completion of the first Test at Trent Bridge.
Ahead of the first Test of the five-match Test series against England, India suffered quite a few injury set backs. Opener Shubman Gill was ruled out of the tour after sustaining a shin injury during the World Test Championship (WTC) final in June. Back-up opener Mayank Agarwal was sidelined from the first Test due to concussion. As a result, Rahul was given the green signal to open with Rohit Sharma in Nottingham.
"So it was great to be part of it, but also very frustrating that opportunities weren't coming. It was only practise, practise and practise and as a player you want to be in the middle and want to challenge yourself, so I kept waiting for my opportunity, so I am very happy that it came in England," added Rahul.
Rahul's knock of 84 was crucial as India posted 278 in the first innings to take a 95-run lead while Jasprit Bumrah's 5 for 64 helped the visitors dismiss England for 303 in the second innings. With a target of 209, India ended the fourth day on 52 for 1 before the final day of the Test was washed out.
When asked about Bumrah returning to form, Rahul replied, "Sir, I don't know why you are saying that (Jasprit) Bumrah has made a comeback. Every time, in every game, in every condition he has proved himself and he is our number one bowler. We are happy that he is doing what he is (has) been doing since he started playing Test cricket. Wherever he has played, he has been a match-winner for us."
The Karnataka batsman also hailed the pace quartet of Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur for flourishing in overcast conditions.
"Our pace bowling attack is the main reasons why we qualified for the WTC finals. Great to see that each time we go out there, we stick to what we have discussed and more often than not we have got results for being patient and disciplined," Rahul said.
The second Test between India and England is scheduled to begin on Aug. 12 (Thursday) at Lord's London.