Karnataka have been on a roll this season. As if winning the Ranji Trophy was not satisfying enough, they went on to annex the Irani Trophy and topped it with the Vijay Hazare Trophy last month.
And one batsman who played a key role, especially in the Ranji triumph, was Lokesh Rahul who finished second in the run-scoring charts, amassing 1033 runs at an impressive average of 68.86.
High on confidence
Rahul wasn't able to replicate the spectacular form in the Vijay Hazare ODI Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. Nevertheless, he is high on confidence, going into the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League where he will be representing Sunrisers Hyderabad.
"I am quite happy with the way I am shaping up for the tournament. I have been working on some key areas and hope to do well as and when I get the opportunity," Rahul told mid-day.
"In the Ranji Trophy, I could relax and take time to think about the shots I was going to play against particular bowlers, but that's not the case with T20.
I am conditioning myself to play more aggressive and fearless cricket. Let's hope it works out," explained Rahul who featured for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL-6.
The Sunrisers have some terrific performers in their ranks, including Dale Steyn, Aaron Finch, David Warner, Darren Sammy and Amit Mishra and will be led by Shikhar Dhawan.
And Rahul, who turns 22, during the course of the tournament is pretty excited at the prospect of sharing the dressing room with these players. "I will get time to interact with them and that is very crucial at this stage of my career. I will try and learn as much as I can from them and I am particularly excited about facing up to Steyn in the nets.
"I have never faced up to anyone as quick and accurate as Steyn and certainly I will get valuable lessons facing him." So has he set himself any specific target, given the fact that he turned out for RCB in a few games last season? "I don't set any specific goal for myself in any competition.
That just puts undue pressure on me. More so, in T20 you cannot set any pre-determined target. You have to go with the flow of the match and that is where the challenge lies," he concluded.