Former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha has leapt in support in Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul, backing his conservative approach. Kings XI Punjab slumped to their fifth loss in as many as six matches in IPL 2020 with their latest coming against SunRisers Hyderabad. Pragyan Ojha underlined their fragile middle-order behind KL Rahul’s cautious approach.
Since his blazing and unbeaten hundred against Royal Challengers Bangalore, KL Rahul has not been motoring along to bat the opposition out of the game. The right-handed batsman scored only 63 runs from the 52 balls he faced, bringing his lack of acceleration under question. Against SunRisers Hyderabad, the skipper faced 16 balls, managing 11 runs without any boundary. He needed to score at a higher strike rate during a steep chase of 202.
Pragyan Ojha pointed out that since the last couple of games, KL Rahul has not looked comfortable. Ojha stated that unlike before when he went after the bowling attack and effortlessly cleared the fence, the comfortability was not visible.
“Last game and this game also we saw that KL Rahul was not comfortable, the way he was batting. Previously we have seen he just went out, he batted the way he wanted to, pure magic. But the last two games, I don’t know he was not there,” Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today.
“Any batsman would feel the pressure when chasing over 200” : Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha considered the game against SRH and identified that KL Rahul took a cautious approach since he knows that the middle-order is not doing well. The 34-year old understands the skipper’s pressure in pursuit of more than 200 and knows if the top-order does not perform well, KXIP could capitulate quickly due to a weak middle-order. The former left-arm spinner reckons that had Gayle been fit, he would have replaced Glenn Maxwell, who has not justified his price tag.
“‘I think he was just trying to play because he knew that the middle order is not doing well, that pressure and this game you know when you have over 200 runs to chase, any batsman would feel the pressure. And Rahul knows that if he and Mayank don’t do well, they have a fragile middle order. Anil Kumble mentioned Chris Gayle, they wanted him to play but he was not well. The message was very clear that they were not happy with Maxwell. It’s a clear statement if Chris Gayle walks in, Maxwell walks out. KXIP have been unlucky but KL Rahul was not the ‘KL’ that we have seen so far,” he added.