“I’d rather have a longer run as a successful captain and leader, than start off with something big and then go downwards”
“For me it was my first time as leading. It was great, actually – there is so much you learn from losses and losses make you so much stronger than starting off with victories,” Rahul told India Today.
This opened the doors for Rahul’s return to the Test side at a time when he thought a comeback was unlikely. Until then, he’d been pencilled in as a middle order batting option. He ended the series with 315 runs in four Tests, second-most for India on tour, and hasn’t looked back since.
“My career has always been that way: I have always got things slowly,” he said. “I have always had to start with a punch or a hit. It happened with me with my Test career. It happened with how my journey as a cricketer has gone – it has always been a slow and steady thing. So I am quite confident my captaincy also will be similar.”
“I’d rather have a longer run as a successful captain and leader, than start off with something big and then go downwards.”
“I am quite confident in my leadership skills and I know that I can bring the best out of the players and I know I can do the job for the team, for the country, for my franchise,” he said. “I am not someone who judges myself based on the results. There are certain boxes that I need to tick as a leader and if I am doing all of those things and if my team is happy with how I am leading them, that’s the most important thing.
“And that’s what matters to me. And I know eventually the results will follow as well and the success will stay there for longer. I’d rather have a longer run as a successful captain and leader, than start off with something big and then go downwards. Fingers crossed. Hopefully, the best is yet to come.”
“There were massive learnings,” Rahul said. “We are at a stage right now where we have World Cups as the focus. We are working towards certain things. We are working towards getting better as a team and learning.
“I feel like we’ve played some really good cricket over the last four or five years, but it is also time for a little bit of… for us to get better and transform our white-ball cricket. And that’s been the chat. I don’t use that an excuse for not winning, but we are a work in progress as a team.”
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo