KL Rahul responds to handling online abuse after Centurion hundred

KL Rahul opened up about the impact of online abuse on professional athletes after his Centurion hundred on Day two of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa.

Sharing his personal experiences and insights from the recent past in the post-day press conference, Rahul highlighted how he approached this criticism.

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Rahul acknowledged the dual nature of social media, stating, “Today I have scored a hundred so people are singing praises. Three-four months ago, everybody was abusing me.” 

“You have your own personality, personality traits, characteristics. When you play international cricket, they all get challenged. As a person, as a cricketer, as an individual, you are challenged each day, each moment.”

KL Rahul
Photo by Icon sport

KL Rahul on being affected by social media

This fluctuation between praise and abuse is a common experience for public figures, especially athletes. Rahul admits that such extremes are part and parcel of the game but emphasizes that they do have an effect. Contrary to those who claim immunity to criticism, he believes, “It does affect each person. And anyone who says that doesn't affect them at all, I'm sure is lying.”

During his injury break before the World Cup, Rahul focused on mental health, striving to maintain his authenticity in the face of online negativity. He reflects, “It is difficult to remain true to yourself and true to your personality with so much happening.” For Rahul, the key was to work on himself, to remain calm and take care of his mental well-being.

Rahul was reprieved twice during his innings in Centurion, a sensational 101 off 137 in testing conditions, and acknowledged the role of luck in sports. 

“I guess I just got lucky twice. Did a few things right, but also it was a huge luck factor.”

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Shifting to the middle order, Rahul has adapted his approach to batting. He explained that being in the middle-order role, he was walking out to “situations” rather than setting the tone like when opening the batting. 

India put on 245 in the first innings in Centurion driven by Rahul’s ton, but Dean Elgar overshadowed his knock with a superb hundred to give the home team a first-innings lead.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India