Punjab Kings batting coach Wasim Jaffer has opened up on various things surrounding IPL 2021, set to begin on the 9th of April. With the 13th season of the competition concluding in November last year, the fans and players are gearing themselves for another high-octane and action-packed edition. Of all the things Wasim Jaffer stressed on captain KL Rahul’s batting approach last year and talked about how it will change in IPL 2021.
While KL Rahul was the highest run-getter in IPL 2020 with 670 runs in 14 matches at 55.83 with one century and five fifties, his strike rate stood a shade under 130. The right-handed batsman’s inability to raise his tempo even after getting settled came under criticism as it cost Kings XI Punjab a few invaluable victories. The franchise missed out on the playoffs spot, finishing at the sixth spot last year.
Wasim Jaffer pointed out that KL Rahul adopted a cautious approach and batted deeper since there was not much batting to come after number five, with Glenn Maxwell not firing either. Thus, Jaffer felt that the responsibility to get the job done lay on the skipper; however, the former domestic veteran promised that the fans would see more aggression in Rahul’s batting this year.
“KL batted a little timidly last season. He probably batted deeper because there was not much batting after number five and Glenn Maxwell was not firing. He took that responsibility on himself to try and stay at the crease and get the job done. This time around, everyone will see an aggressive KL Rahul for sure,” Jaffer told Times of India.
In the ODIs, he showed why he is such a special player: Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer admitted that a dip in form could happen to any player and reminded that a poor T20 series against England did not make him a bad batsman. The 43-year old remarked that KL Rahul bounced back in the subsequent ODI series, proving himself a special player. The former India opener commented that the current Punjab Kings squad is a much more balanced one since they have Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith to support Mohammed Shami, unlike before.
“It can happen to any player. The more games he played, the better he became. Yes, he had a poor T20 series, but it did not make him a bad batsman. He scored centuries in all three formats and knows his game better than anybody else. In the ODIs, he showed why he is such a special player. This is a much more balanced side than last year. We lacked bowlers who can back Mohammed Shami. In Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith, we have got two pacers who can bowl quick,” he added.