Having logged only 22 runs from the first three T20 World Cup games, it was Rahul’s opportunity to do the star turn with one of his better half-centuries (50 off 32 balls) and a magnificent direct throw from the deep that became a turning point in India’s five-run victory over Bangladesh.
“My emotions were good. We are all excited to be out here and we have all looked forward to this World Cup for last one year. I have always tried to stay balanced whether I am doing well or not,” Rahul said when asked about what was his mindset in the last one week when he went through a string of poor scores.
“The team has given me a role and if I am able to do what team wants from me, I can sleep peacefully,” the Indian vice-captain told reporters at the post-match conference.
The most heartening aspect for Indian team over the past four games has been how different individuals have contributed to the side’s success.
“This was an important game for us. We all wanted to contribute. Today it was an opportunity for me to stand up and be counted. Every match, a different person is putting his hand up and making it count,” Rahul said.
Having been made an early exit from the last T20 World Cup, the Indian team, according to Rahul, worked hard to prepare themselves for difficult circumstances.
“We have really worked hard and prepared ourselves for difficult situations. So that when time comes, we can execute our plans in those difficult situations.”
Talking about his sensational direct hit from the deep to dismiss the in-form Litton Das, he said: “We all train very hard on fielding. We work on our throwing and moving quickly. The ball came and I hit the stumps.”
Rahul also spoke about the quality time spent with Virat Kohli on the eve of the match during an indoor training session.
Asked to shed some light on the kind of conversations that he has had with the maestro, Rahul said: “We spoke about mindset and how we have been coming to Australia for some years to play different formats but wickets this time have been very challenging.
“He (Kohli) has been getting runs and that means he has been doing something right. So I wanted to know what are the things that he is doing.”
He thanked the coaching staff for keeping him in a good frame of mind.
“Yes, there is bound to be disappointment if you are not scoring runs but the support staff has always been very helpful.”
Rahul was all praise for the little gem of a knock from Litton (60 off 27 balls) but said that the Indian team was always confident that they would cross the line.
“Litton played an exceptional knock and innings like these put pressure on opposition teams. He hit the bowlers off good length.”
But he admitted that rain-break did help.
“Even without rain break, we knew that once the Powerplay was over, we could put pressure on them. We had the confidence and once the break was over, we were completely switched on,” Rahul added.