Kings XI Punjab opener, KL Rahul has been in sensational form in the ongoing Vivo IPL so far. He made his top score in IPL by remaining unbeaten on 84 off 54 deliveries against the Rajasthan Royals at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.
His innings eventually helped Punjab register a comprehensive six wickets victory in the end after an initial stutter. He has forged a formidable stand opening partnership with the big man from Jamaica, Chris Gayle.
Rahul has looked in terrific form all through the tournament and has smashed three half-centuries in the process. It also includes the fastest fifty in this season of IPL. He hit 14 balls fifty against the Delhi Daredevils in the season opener for Punjab.
However, Sunday’s inning was a special one especially given the fact that Punjab had lost a few quick wickets. However, Rahul maintained his composure and remained unbeaten on 54 which included seven fours and three hits over the fence.
“I try to keep the same focus in every match that I go out to bat. I want to get as many runs as I can in the powerplay. (However,) I think I haven’t converted those starts into big runs for the team; as an opening batsman that’s what is crucial. If you get off to a good start, even if you get the run rate down a bit in the middle overs, if you are set till the end you can do the most damage. That’s what I learnt from the first leg (of the tournament) before we broke off for eight days,” Rahul said while speaking on yesterday’s knock.
“Those were the things I was thinking about sitting back at home. I wanted to come here with a fresher approach and try to win as many games as I can. (I wanted to) try to bat deep into the innings, and that was the plan, and I am very happy that it paid off today,” he added while speaking about the way he approached the target.
Rahul has donned the wicket-keeping gloves for Punjab since the first match of the tournament. He has done a reasonable job behind the stumps as well. Rahul admitted to the fact that his wicket-keeping has also helped in his batting.
“I enjoy wicket-keeping in the shorter format. If it is in the longer format, then ‘keeping for a longer time and then going out to bat as soon as the innings is finished is little hard on the body. I have always enjoyed wicket-keeping in T20s. I think it gives me a good view of what the wicket is doing, like in the second innings today; I knew how the wicket was playing and what were the right shots to play on this wicket even before I went out to bat. So that helps.”
“Standing behind I know exactly how to set the field and (Ravichandran) Ashwin has given me that freedom to set the fielders accordingly. So I am enjoying both the roles,” he added.