KL Rahul played a mature knock while opening the innings as India chased down a huge target of 208 against the West Indies in the first T20I at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Hyderabad.
Opening the innings, KL Rahul looked in fluent touch immediately. He hit a boundary off Jason Holder in the third ball he faced in the innings and then hit two more in the over to set the early tempo.
1000% grind ⚔️ See you in Trivandrum 📍 pic.twitter.com/aqTvInLLxg— K L Rahul (@klrahul11) December 6, 2019
The opener hit a six in each of the next two overs and then followed up with a four to keep up the required run-rate and also help captain Virat Kohli, who was struggling to time the ball at the other end.
During the course, KL Rahul became the seventh Indian batsman to reach 1,000 runs in T20I cricket and the joint third-fastest to reach the landmark having reached the milestone in his 32nd match.
Once Virat Kohli settled down and launched his attack, KL Rahul took up the role of the anchor with the 27-year-old bringing up his fifty in just 37 balls.
After getting to the landmark, KL Rahul tried to cut loose again - pulling Kesrick Williams away over backward square leg for his first boundary for nine balls and followed it up with another one off Khary Pierre in the next over.
"Everyone likes me when I score runs," KL Rahul said. "In T20Is, I honestly don't plan my innings according to strike-rate, especially batting second. It depends more on the target. "It's important to lay a solid foundation as an opener because there are power hitters in the back end."
However, he mistimed one when attempting to hit one over extra-cover and was caught by Kieron Pollard at mid-off for a well-made 62 off 40 balls. He had done his job by then and from that point on, it was the Virat Kohli show.
The Indian captain scored a flurry of boundaries as Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer also contributed a few runs before Virat Kohli sealed the win by six wickets and eight balls to spare with a flat hit for six over extra-cover.
India consequently recorded their highest successful run chase in T20Is, eclipsing the 207 against Sri Lanka at Mohali a decade back. India also became the team with the most successful chases in T20Is as a result.
"Playing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy helped a lot," the Kings XI Punjab batsman pointed out. "Doesn't matter how many hours you spend in the nets. Winning games gives me the most confidence. Did that with Karnataka, happy to do it with India. Good that I can carry my confidence across tournaments."