Young India batsman KL Rahul says his unsuccessful trip to England in 2018 made him realise that holding back shots is important in tough conditions and that is helping him on the current tour.
Rahul had scored a century in a three-day warm up game before the Test series and produced a confident 84 in the first innings of the opening match, helping India take a 95-run lead.
"I used to have a lot of thoughts in my mind. I felt I could play two or three different shots for every given ball in red ball cricket, so that was something I realised, I had to learn to control," Rahul said during a media interaction after the end of third day's play on Friday.
On that 2018 England tour, Rahul could score just one century in his 10 test innings and that too when India had lost the series.
His scores were a dejecting 4, 13, 8, 10, 23, 36, 19, 0 and 37 before he came up with an effort of 149.
"Sometimes when the going gets tough or the wickets are challenging, playing against good bowlers, when the ball is swinging, you have to hold back some of the shots, so those are the things, I tried to work on, or those were the learnings from when I was failing in Test cricket," he said.
Rahul also said that sitting outside the team, he learned from the other batsmen, who were scoring runs.
"I haven't got to play a lot of red ball cricket but sitting outside, watching the games and watching batsmen score runs was good enough for me. I have been playing cricket, so the mental bit, like I said, in any format is it important that shot selection is spot on.
"I am happy that today I could go out there and show a lot of discipline, and get my team a good start and then put us in a good position."
Rahul had good words to say about experienced England pace duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
"It is challenging to play here. They have a world class bowling attack. Anderson and Broad, those who watch cricket, know how skillfull they are, and they have done it time and again. Almost 600 wickets each, challenging to play against them," Rahul said at the post-day press conference.
"It is fun playing in the middle. It keeps you on your toes and I quite enjoy being here. The weather is good, you don't get that tired as well, so l love playing in England," added Rahul, who shared a 97-run stand with Rohit Sharma (36) for the first wicket.
After bundling out England for a meagre 183, India rode on Rahul's classy 84 and Jadeja's 56 to post 278 and take a strong 95-run lead.
England ended the third day, which was called off early due to rain at 25/0.
So, what is most challenging in England and pat came the reply, “Everything”.
"It was a good wicket, I won't say it was unplayable, or anything, but having to play against the likes of Anderson, Broad in these conditions, is no batsman's dream, but I always wanted to."
According to Rahul, he is ready for any role which the team management wants him to do.
"Look, if anything in the last two years I have learnt is that you need to be ready to do anything, I have been asked to do different roles, a lot of times and I quite enjoy doing it, so this was another opportunity for me to go out there and challenge myself," he said.