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It was a dream for Karun and me to play together: K L Rahul

India opener K L Rahul and his Karnataka team-mate Karun Nair aren’t new to each other’s game.

It was a dream for Karun and me to play together: K L Rahul
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K L Rahul and his Karnataka team-mate Karun Nair celebrates

Chennai

They have played together for more than a decade and their communication on Sunday in negating the England bowlers’ threat was top notch. The duo added 161 runs for the fourth wicket in 41.5 overs to guide India to a commanding position at 391/4 at the end of the third day’s play in the fifth Test at the M A Chidambaram Stadium.

Rahul said he was happy to see Karun get some runs under his belt. “It was very important to get that partnership for the team. Karun and I have played our cricket together since we were 11. His family was here watching the game and both our families will be proud watching us both play together. It was a dream as well when we started playing cricket. We have done things together. I am happy that Karun is still unbeaten after getting his 50. He has looked confident and it was important for him to get these runs as well. He is looking in good touch and hopefully he and Vijay can carry on Monday,” Rahul said.

The 24-year-old batsman said the camaraderie between the players in the team is above par. “Everybody in the team enjoys each other's success. All of us want each other to do well. We are always pushing each other to get better on the field and off the field too, like helping each other out in the nets or in the gym. That's why I think we are the No. 1 team in the world. All youngsters and the senior players want to go together and work for each other and be happy about each other's success,” Rahul added.

The Mangalore-born batsman said the captain leads by an example. “Virat, being the leader sets a great example. You'll see if somebody is getting a hundred or if somebody's taking a great catch or somebody's getting a wicket, he feels more excited than the player who has got a hundred or a wicket. That's how the atmosphere in the dressing room is right now. We're enjoying the success as a team and individual successes as well,” Rahul said.

Rahul said he had worked a lot on clearing his mindset off injury scares and focus more on his batting. “It is obviously tough coming back from injury. I came back after one month (after missing two Tests against New Zealand) and then I missed the third Test (against England) so it plays on your mind. After the Vizag test, my mind was thinking more about getting injured again than to focus on batting. When I reached Mumbai, I changed my approach and thought injuries wouldn’t matter and so I understood that it was important to get out there and just do what I have been doing in the last 6-8 months,” he added.

The right-hand batsman said focusing on getting runs on board matters more than his opening partner. “It doesn’t really matter who you are opening with if you can keep the bigger picture in mind and focus on what you have to do,” Rahul added.

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