“sight, [it’s] Obviously this is something that every player works for. No one is perfect in that dressing room. Everyone is doing something or the other. Everyone has a certain role. Obviously, the strike rate is taken on an aggregate basis. You never saw when that batsman played at a certain strike rate, was it important for him to play at 200 strike rate or else the team could have won by playing 100-120 strike rate. So these are things that not everyone analyzes. Or if you look at it, it looks slow.
“Yes, it’s something I’m working on. Obviously, the roles that have been defined for each player in the last 10-12 months are very clear. And the player understands what is expected of him, and The player is working. Obviously, I’m just working on how I can improve myself as an opener, and see if I go out to play in the middle. How can I make the most impact for my team?
Strike rate has been the dartboard on Rahul’s back ever since he said that strike rate, when taken out of context, was overrated. It’s natural to expect them to be a little defensive about it. When asked questions about how she faced criticism, she asked the reporter to be specific, which would suggest that she felt the criticism was unfair. However, within the team, the leadership group put their weight firmly behind Rahul, saying that he would play in the World Cup, and that he would open.
“When he [the other reporter] Asked about criticism, so what specifically did I ask,” said Rahul about the constant criticism from outside and the obvious support from within the team. “Because we keep getting criticized for a lot of things. But the most important thing for a player in the dressing room is what his captain is, what his coach is and what his players think of him.
“And only we know what role is expected of each person. Everyone is trying to give their best, and not every time a player will be successful. And we have created an environment that players are afraid to play. No, or players aren’t afraid to make mistakes. That’s what we do. We work hard for it, right? Everyone can criticize, but we criticize ourselves more than any of you. For us, that’s what we’ve dreamed of doing. We’re representing our country. We want to win games, we want to win the World Cup, it’s all on our mind. And when we don’t do well, we have to Hurts the most.
“It’s T20 cricket, and the more you play and the more the game develops, be it batting first or batting second, at any stage of the game, you have to be aggressive. You have to be in that mindset where you set boundaries. want to hit.”
“For us, it’s what’s going on in our team that’s most important. We have a leader, we have a coach, we have a support staff that is encouraging the players, not just when they do well, but also appreciating players. When they’re going through tough times. What a player wants to see. What anyone in any field wants to see. That little support, that little bit of attention when someone is down. It’s not a good game when someone has. That’s what I got, that’s what everyone on the team gets. That’s exactly where we want to be as a team. And that’s exactly where We are. That’s what we try to make. Individuals will make mistakes and learn from it when the environment is such that you have the support and freedom to go out there and be yourself and express yourself.”
The strike-rate debate often doesn’t happen when chasing, but when batting first, when teams can be run out in the middle. Especially in situations where it becomes easier to bat second. Rahul was asked how he arrived to bat first.
“It’s T20 cricket, and the more you play and the more the game develops, be it batting first or batting second, at any stage of the game, you have to be aggressive. You have to be in that mindset where you set boundaries. Want to hit him.” said Rahul. “The same thing happens to me when I go to bat. When you’re batting first, you want to give yourself three or four balls to get a sense of how the pitch is behaving. And then Try and see how you can keep the bowlers down. The pressure, how you can use the powerplay, get your teams off to a good start.
“These are the things that run through your mind, you talk to your partner, you help each other out. You’ve discussed the pitch, what shots you can play, what areas you’re targeting. These are some of the things that you talk to each other about, and you make a plan.”
Siddharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo