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  5. World Cup: KL Rahul opens up on dealing with 'painful' criticism after match-winning knock against Australia

World Cup: KL Rahul opens up on dealing with 'painful' criticism after match-winning knock against Australia

KL Rahul was the star of India's World Cup opener as he steadied the team's dwindling run chase against Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. He scored an unbeaten 97 to take India home with six wickets to spare and was involved in a record stand with Virat Kohli.

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Published on: October 09, 2023 20:34 IST
KL Rahul vs Australia in ODI World Cup 2023
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES KL Rahul vs Australia in ODI World Cup 2023

India's star wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul has described the persistent criticism directed at him as "painful" and extremely difficult to cope with. The last few months have been challenging for the 31-year-old batter. He suffered an unfortunate thigh injury midway through the IPL 2023 that ruled him out of the remainder of the season and had to undergo surgery for the same.

Rahul had to undergo rehabilitation and trained hard at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru to regain his fitness in time before the Asia Cup.

"There was a lot of criticism, people were commenting on my performance in every match and situation. I wasn’t able to understand why it was happening, because my performance wasn’t that bad. So, that was very painful," Rahul said during an interaction with Star Sports.

"I know the pain of going through an injury and the process of coming back initially, and then, I had an injury during the IPL, and when I found out I’ll be losing four-five months, being a part of the World Cup was also not a 100% sure. So, that was a very difficult time," he added.

Rahul narrated how the motivation of playing in the ODI World Cup helped him to push himself and endure the monotonous and rigorous work in the gym day in and day out.

"I already knew in my mind and understood the process. I was very positive as well, and there was only one motivation that I had to come back before the World Cup, and I have to be a part of this home World Cup.

"We were preparing for a lot of time keeping this in mind, and every morning, I have been waking up thinking we need to win the World Cup, and that has been my only motivation. Every day in the morning that’s what got me out of bed and pushed me to do the boring work in the gym, and that tells you how special it is to me and everybody.

"Playing a home world cup is a dream for a cricketer and is special to all cricketers, so yeah, I’m pretty excited," he mentioned.

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