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T20 World Cup: Hopefully team can use loss against NZ in semis as a motivation to push little extra: Rahul

New Delhi : Star opener KL Rahul on Tuesday said that he is very excited about the 2021 T20 Men’s World Cup, adding that India’s defeat against New Zealand in the semifinal of the 50-over World Cup in 2019 hurt the team a lot and hopefully the side will use that as a motivation to push little extra and win the tournament.

Virat Kohli-led India will open their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24 at the Dubai International Stadium.

“I am very excited, obviously, the World Cup is a big event and every cricketer looks forward to it and every player is training all year round to play this tournament. The 2019 World Cup semis loss did hurt the team a lot and hopefully, we can use that to push and motivate ourselves a little extra and try to win the tournament,” said Rahul during a Clubhouse session organised by Red Bull.

The current edition of the T20 World Cup was scheduled to be played last year but it was postponed due to Covid-19. However, Rahul feels it has given time to teams to figure out their best combination.

“The World Cup was supposed to be played last year, but it was postponed and it has given a lot more time to think about the best combination and try and get everything right and make a huge impact in the mega event,” he said.

MS Dhoni, who led the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to their fourth title in the recently concluded IPL 2021, has joined the Indian team as a mentor for this marquee event.

When asked about how it feels to have Dhoni back in the dressing room, the Karnataka batsman said that it feels amazing and the former India captain brings a calming effect.

“Obviously, MS Dhoni back with the team feels amazing because we have played under him and we have looked towards him as a mentor even when he was our captain. We loved having him in the dressing room when he was the captain, we loved the calmness,” said Rahul.

“We have all looked up to him to help us out, to have him here is great and his presence also gives us a sense of calmness. I have enjoyed spending time with him in the first two to three days and it has been a lot of fun. Looking forward to chewing his brain about cricket, captaincy, and all things cricket,” he added.

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