NEW DELHI, June 14: Star India batsman KL Rahul believes the suspension that followed his unsavoury comments about women on a TV show last year completely changed his thought process about his game, resulting in consistent performances.
Rahul and Hardik Pandya faced severe criticism following their sexist remarks on �Koffee with Karan�, and were called back home from Australia in January last year after being suspended by the BCCI�s Committee of Administrators (CoA).
�A lot of credit for my consistent performance goes to how differently I started thinking after 2019. With this suspension and with all that happened, I was tempted or I was in a way wanted to be selfish and play for myself, and I failed. So I told myself I need to go out and do what the team wants me to do,� Rahul told India Today.
Rahul�s fortunes surged as he not only replaced Rishabh Pant in white-ball cricket but also scored 303 runs in five innings at an average of 75.75 and a strike rate of 114.77 in ODIs.
Opening the batting in T20Is, the right-handed batsman scored 224 runs at an average of 56.00 and a strike rate of 144.51.
Rahul said the suspension made him realise how short a cricketer�s shelf life is and he decided to channelise all his energies in the right direction.
�We all know our careers are not too long and I realised after 2019 that I probably have a good 12 or 11 years left in me and I need to dedicate all my time and energy towards becoming a player and team man,� the 28-year-old stylish Karnataka batsman said.
�That mind-shift really helped and took a lot of pressure off me when I started focusing on wanting to do better for the team and be a part of champion teams and make a difference in the game.� � PTI