KL Rahul's 100 helped India win the match by 9 wickets © AFP
KL Rahul’s 100 helped India win the match by 9 wickets © AFP

KL Rahul has revealed he didn’t think much while hitting the six which won his side the match and completed his century against Zimbabwe. Rahul, who was one of three players making his debut for India, hit a six of Hamilton Masakadza’s ball to reach his century on debut. Having been set a target of 169, Rahul along with Ambati Rayudu made sure India won the game with over seven overs to spare. The hosts had earlier managed to post only 168 from their 50 overs, much thanks to 41 from Elton Chigumbura. Jasprit Bumrah was the star of the show, as he took 4 for 28 to dismantle the hosts. He will duly supported by his fellow bowlers. Full Cricket Scorecard: Zimbabwe vs India, IPL 2016, 1st ODI match, at Harare

After the game, centurion Rahul was asked about how he planned his innings. “Ya of course, my initial plan was to see the new ball off. I mean we knew the wicket was doing a little bit, it was on the spongy side so I knew I had to play close to the body and wait for the balls that were short so I could capitalize. I had a set plan and once I played the first 10 overs and I hit a few balls in the middle of the bat, I knew I was looking good and I’ve just come from a good IPL and you know I carried the same momentum and same confidence into this game.”

“I was watching the ball well so I just kept it simple. I knew I had to, you know the target was not so big so I just kept it simple and knocked the ball around, ran my runs hard and when the opportunity was there to hit boundaries I hit boundaries so I enjoyed myself and I enjoyed my innings and definitely a great relief for me to get a ODI hundred firstly but also to get in your first ODI match and it’s something very special for me.”

He was also asked about whether he has changed, for which he replied, “Well, I honestly don’t think if you ask my close friends and my family they’ll tell I haven’t changed one bit. I’ve always been like this. I’ve just tried to stick to my cricket, go out there and perform well for the team. It’s always been my goal and obviously with good performances in the last couple of months the confidence is there and I’ve always knew I’ve had the game and I had the skill set to be successful in all the three formats.”

“It was just about getting opportunities and getting a few good games and getting that confidence into myself and belief in me to go out there and know that I can perform well at any level at any format so that happened in the last two-three months and carrying the same confidence into this series.”

Rahul was also asked about how he felt when he was at 94. “There’s not much that went through. I didn’t want to be on 94 for a long of time and let lot of thoughts come in my mind. I picked my spot, if the bowler bowled there I was going no matter what. Yea, luckily for me the bowler bowled there and I connected and I held my shape so it all went well for me.”

Having had an ordinary Test innings debut, he was asked if that bothered him during his innings. “No it didn’t play on my mind. Of course I learnt a lot from my debut in Australia. It was a great learning from me. I said that before in Australia as well, it’s a great learning. I wouldn’t have been such a confident player or a player I am today if I hadn’t gotten that kind of failure in my first Test so it’s a great learning and I am very happy that I learnt a lesson from my Test debut.”

“I came out here gave myself time and did exactly what I wanted to do, I did not let the moment or pressure of playing your first match get over myself. I just gave myself time and remained calm and I was just looking to watch the ball and had no other thought in my mind.”

With the youngsters given a chance, Rahul was quipped if they wanted to prove a point. “None of us are here to prove a point to anybody. We’ve just gotten this opportunity and we’ve all been very happy and excited to come out here and learn a lot about going out there and doing well in international cricket and to understand what is different from our first-class cricket and what is different in international cricket.”

“We’re here to learn and obviously MS Dhoni being here gives us a chance to talk to him and improve ourselves and get his feedback about what we need to do individually and we’ve come out here to go out there and express ourselves and all of us performed really really well in the last couple of months in the IPL so we’ve all come in with a lot of confidence. We just want to go out there and play aggressive cricket, stick to what we’ve been doing and be confident and go express ourselves.”