KL Rahul has said he felt “immense pressure” from the crowd as he took over the role of India’s wicketkeeper in limited-overs matches because of the legacy Mahendra Singh Dhoni has behind the gloves.

Dhoni retired from Test cricket in 2014 and has not played for India in the white-ball formats since last year’s ODI World Cup in England. Rahul kept the wickets in the limited-overs series against Australia in January this year and also during the team’s tour to New Zealand.

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“I was nervous when I was doing it [’keeping] for India because of the crowd pressure,” Rahul told Star Sports. “If you fumble a ball, people feel that you cannot replace MS Dhoni. The pressure of replacing a legendary wicketkeeper like MSD was immense as it involved people accepting someone else behind the stumps.”

Rahul, who has played 32 One-Day Internationals and 42 T20Is, said ‘keeping wickets is not alien to him since he dons the gloves in the Indian Premier League and also when he plays for his domestic team Karnataka.

“People who follow cricket know that I haven’t been away from wicketkeeping for too long as I donned the gloves in the IPL and every time I played for Karnataka,” the 28-year-old said. “I am always in touch with wicketkeeping but am also somebody who is more than willing to take up the role if the team needs me to.”

(With inputs from PTI)