KL Rahul, who has played 32 ODIs and 42 T20Is, says that keeping wickets is not a new thing for him as he regularly dons the gloves for his franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and even for his domestic side Karnataka.
“People who follow cricket know that I haven’t been away from wicket-keeping for too long as I donned the gloves in the IPL and every time I played for Karnataka,” the 28-year-old said on a Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
“I am always in touch with wicket-keeping but am also somebody who is more than willing to take up the role if the team needs me to,” he stressed.
The last few limited-overs series before the Coronavirus pandemic saw the Indian team management try out Rahul as the wicket-keeper and that posed a major question mark on the future of young Rishabh Pant and veteran MS Dhoni.
Rahul was quite impressive with the bat against West Indies and Australia and he also played a number of good innings for India on the New Zealand tour. Further, in the chat show, Rahul said that he is willing to take up the role of wicket-keeper if the team needs him to but added that the boots of Dhoni are big to fill at the moment.
“I was nervous when I was doing it for India because of the crowd pressure. If you fumble a ball, people feel that you cannot replace MS Dhoni. The pressure of replacing a legendary wicket-keeper like MSD was immense as it involved people accepting someone else behind the stumps,” KL added.
Earlier, Rahul raised almost Rs 8 lakh by auctioning his autographed 2019 World Cup cricket gear to help the vulnerable children. On his 28th birthday, KL donated his cricketing equipment to the Bharat Army who auctioned the accessories to raise funds. The right-handed batsman’s willow fetched the most money as it was sold for Rs 2,64,228.
Among the other gear, Rahul’s helmet fetched Rs 1,22,677, his pads garnered Rs 33,028, his ODI jersey went for Rs 1,13,240, his T20 jersey for Rs 1,04,824, his Test jersey for Rs 1,32,774 and his gloves for Rs 28,782.