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SA series will be my biggest Test: Lokesh

India opener Lokesh Rahul says the Test series against South Africa beginning next month will be the “biggest challenge” of his burgeoning career.

Rahul may be a certainty in the Test squad for the four-match series beginning on November 5 but it will be tough for him to make the playing as an opener in the presence of Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan. But the 23-year-old is mentally preparing <g data-gr-id="28">keeping</g> in mind that he might be fielded as an opener in <g data-gr-id="29">first</g> Test in Mohali starting November 5.

“So far this (SA series) would be the biggest test for me. But look everything is in a challenge in itself. Sri Lanka <g data-gr-id="36">are</g> very good in their own conditions. Playing <g data-gr-id="35">Australia of course</g> is always challenging. I am happy to <g data-gr-id="34">playing</g> against teams like South Africa and Australia early on in my career.

It is going to make me stronger as a cricketer,” Bangalore-based Rahul told PTI on Monday. He has not played a competitive match since the final Test against Sri Lanka in last week of August. The 23-year-old did not represent his champion state side Karnataka in their first two games of Ranji Trophy due to injury but is confident of gaining crucial match time starting with the next game against Vidarbha on October 15.

“I have recovered now. Hoping that I play the game on the 15th. The more match time the better it is ahead of the big series (South Africa). Though I have not been playing games, I have been working on my game and training regularly with my state team and excited about the matches coming up,” said Rahul, who once competed in Red Bull Campus Cricket and is now supporting the initiative.

A question he is asked regularly is about consistency, having scored two Test centuries in 10 innings at a modest average of 25.60. <g data-gr-id="31">Also</g> he was criticised for not known where his off-stump is during the third Test against Sri Lanka, where he got out shouldering arms to incoming deliveries.
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