“It is important for me as a leader to make the players feel comfortable and let them know that it's okay to feel nervous initially,” KL Rahul had revealed in an interview a few weeks prior to the 2020 Dream11 Indian Premier League. The Kings XI Punjab skipper however has continued to keep up that magnanimous approach to life and cricket even post the IPL, as experienced firsthand by young Australian all-rounder Cameron Green.
The 21-year-old made his senior debut for Australia last night in the final ODI game against India, and was ‘taken aback’ to be greeted humbly at that stage by rival wicket-keeper KL Rahul. Visibly nervous on making his International debut at such a grand stage, the young Green was offered some words of encouragement by the KXIP and Indian wicket-keeper KL Rahul from behind the stumps.
"I was actually taken aback by how nice KL Rahul was behind the stumps," Green said. "I think he asked me if I was nervous or not and I just replied saying 'yeah obviously a little bit nervous' and he just said 'go well, youngster'. I thought it would have been the opposite. I think Virat [Kohli] was trying to be pretty loud at the time.
"I was a bit taken aback by how nice that was. I'll remember that forever," continued the youngster. Cameron Green scored a brisk 21 in that game, before being sent back to the pavilion courtesy a brilliant low catch from Ravindra Jadeja. While his side ended on the losing side in that final ODI, Cameron Green was grateful for Rahul’s words of encouragement, revealing that that experience will be remembered fondly by him forever.
The cricket rivalry between India and Australia has always been feisty, and oftentimes turned ugly in the heat of the situation. Despite the heated rivalry though, the soothing words of encouragement from KL Rahul to his young competitor served us a timely reminder on why cricket still remains the ‘gentleman’s game.’