As Rajat Patidar established the groundwork for Royal Challengers Bangalore’s large score in the Eliminator, all eyes were on Lucknow Super Giants skipper KL Rahul to perform in the important game at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.
Pursuing 208 for the success, Lucknow lost Quinton de Kock in the first over of their innings, while Rahul proceeded to score 79. The Indian batter hit three fours and five sixes prior to tumbling to Josh Hazlewood in the penultimate over, with Lucknow requiring 28 runs to progress to the second Qualifier.
LSG Missed The Trick By Not Utilizing Powerplay Overs: Harbhajan Singh
KL Rahul attempted to scoop Hazlewood yet was taken splendidly by Shahbaz Ahmed at short fine leg, and Lucknow could reach only 193-6 and be knocked out of the 10-team tournament While he top-scored for his side, Rahul never figured out how to speed up his innings. He finished his inning with 79 off 58 balls at a strike rate of 136.21.
Experts and fans scrutinized the moderate batting approach of Rahul, who has amassed in excess of 550 runs in each version of IPL starting around 2018. However, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh said the Karnataka fellow has the capacity to hit sixes and, surprisingly, evaluated him higher than West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard.
Harbhajan further brought up Lucknow’s languid scoring rate toward the beginning, that in the long run had an effect.
“KL Rahul often plays the role of an anchor. His six-hitting ability probably is more than someone like Kieron Pollard. But Lucknow played slow in the initial six overs. If they had got early momentum, Lucknow would have had fewer runs to score in the last few overs.
Of course, Harshal and Hazlewood bowled well but Lucknow missed a trick by not scoring more runs in the powerplay. In the end, that decided the outcome of the game,” Harbhajan told Sportskeeda.
Two Big-Hits Would Have Seen Us Over The Line: KL Rahul
Rahul himself recognized that “two big hits” would have most likely finished the work for Lucknow, who was pursuing a heavy aggregate. He could hit out only a solitary boundary in seven overs after the powerplay.
“Yes, I think now, looking back, yes, it was just about two big hits in the middle overs and that could have gotten us over the line,” Rahul said in the post-match press conference on Wednesday.
“We won a few games but generally overall we did not do well chasing. It’s something that we need to learn,” he said. “For me, I think this season has been like every other season, has been a good learning experience.
Rahul, who closed down with 616 runs in 15 games this season, conceded that his numbers while chasing haven’t been agreeable. His 79 in the eliminator was his most noteworthy and only fifty while batting second.
“I paid a bit of attention to the stats this season as well. Yes in this season, I’ve not scored much while batting second,” he agreed.
“But it was a big game and when you come to a big game, you forget about your form, your runs in the last 14 matches.