Lokesh Rahul: 10 facts you should know about the Sydney centurion

Lokesh Rahul scored his maiden Test ton in Sydney. The Karnataka opener had a terrible debut in Melbourne but bounced back with a classy century. Rahul has been one of the most solid batsmen in Indian domestic cricket and showed that ability in this innings. Nishad Pai Vaidya finds 10 facts about India’s new opener.

 

1. Born in Mangalore

Due to the comparison with the great Rahul Dravid, one may often mistake him to be a Bangalore boy. However, Rahul was born in Mangalore.

 

2. KL Rahul or Lokesh Rahul?

His full name is Kannaur Lokesh Rahul and he is often referred to by the last two names. However, he prefers to be called KL Rahul.

 

3. Scholarly parents

Rahul was born to two professors. KN Lokesh, his father, is in the Faculty of Civil Engineering in the National Institute of Technology in Karnataka. His mother C Rajeshwari teaches history at the Mangalore University College.

 

4. Rahul Dravid connection

Given his sound technique and good temperament, Rahul intrigued his great namesake at a very young age. Dravid has passed on his tips to Rahul on numerous occasions. Speaking to CricketCountry, Rahul said, “As a youngster, it is very easy to complicate things. All he (Dravid) tells me is that cricket is a very simple game and to keep it that way. Work hard on your technique and that is like oxygen.”

 

5. India under-19 alumni

Rahul played for India under-19 in 2009-10. He was a part of the Ashok Menaria-led side that played the ICC under-19 World Cup 2010 in New Zealand.

 

6. Leading India under-23 to victory

Rahul was picked in the Indian team to play the ACC Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore in August 2013. All the major teams sent their under-23 squads for this event. In that tournament, Rahul recorded scores of 46, 88, 51, 43 and 93 not out. The unbeaten 93 came against Pakistan under-23 in the final as his knock helped India chase down a target of 160 with ease.

 

7. The 1,000-run season

In 2013-14, Rahul made waves in domestic cricket as he scored over 1,000 runs in the First-Class season. He scored 1158 runs in 15 matches at an average of 52.63 with three tons and four fifties. One of those centuries came in the final against Maharashtra in Hyderabad.

 

8. Batting through final 

Rahul suffered from fever during the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 final yet went on to score a ton and help his side. He fought through his condition and setup a victory for his side.

 

9. IPL experience

Rahul was a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) team for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013. Speaking to CricketCountry, he said, “It was a good experience for me and there was a lot of learning by sharing the dressing room with the greats — talking to them about their game and how they grew up, their training and preparation for the game. It is really good learning and I am glad I got the opportunity.” Rahul is now a part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

 

10. Dale Steyn’s prediction

During the IPL 2014, Dale Steyn was very impressed with his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate. In his column for Times of India, Steyn wrote, “KL Rahul is, in my opinion, a man destined to play for India. He hasn’t quite scored the runs (in IPL 2014) he would have liked this year, but I’ve seen a few batsmen in my career and he is serious class. I don’t believe in curses or jinxes, which is why I’m happy to express my opinion about him. It may not happen this year, or even next, but I expect him to play for his country under MS Dhoni at some point.” Steyn’s prediction came true much sooner than Rahul would have dreamt. And, he did play his first Test under Dhoni’s leadership.

 

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)