KL Rahul took over as Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) captain after Ravichandran Ashwin moved to Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2020 transfer window. This is the second season for the 29-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman as the team’s leader since joining the franchise in 2018.
The Karnataka player has stood as the team’s leader in 26 games, and Punjab have won 10 matches and lost 14 since 2020.
I never felt like KL Rahul is a leader: Ajay Jadeja
In their latest match against RCB, Punjab were in a commanding position to chase the target of 165, but their middle-order woes once again let the team down as they lost the match by six runs.
Former Indian batsman Ajay Jadeja feels that KL Rahul lacks his intelligence and doesn’t make enough changes after facing defeats.
“If you look at KL Rahul, he has been the captain of this team for the past two years, and I never felt like he is a leader. So whenever this team plays good or bad, have you ever thought, were the changes from today done by KL Rahul or not?” Jadeja told Cricbuzz.
“The Indian captains are selected on their intelligence, which is the most important factor because they need to be a leader. So, I can’t see that aspect in KL Rahul so much. He is very soft-spoken, he adjusts”, he added.
There is a lot of difference between India captaincy and IPL captaincy: Ajay Jadeja
As Indian skipper Virat Kohli has already announced that he will step down from India’s T20I captaincy role, experts have their eyes on KL Rahul as the deputy of Rohit Sharma, the most potential candidate to take the role.
Some also stress that India should be looking for a future leader, and the likes of Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer come into the fray.
Jadeja said that Rahul is someone who can easily adjust, which will give him a long run in the captaincy role. Still, the former Indian batsman feels that the Punjab Kings skipper doesn’t have a particular philosophy, which helps in international level captaincy.
“If he becomes the captain one day, then it’s a certainty he’ll last the longest because a guy ready to adjust can stay longer in that position. Someone who adjusts, stays for long,” Jadeja said.
“But someone with leadership quality has a philosophy, something which is needed for India captaincy. There is a lot of difference between India captaincy and IPL captaincy. You have to manage more things there”, he concluded.
Punjab Kings are placed in the fifth position on the points table with 12 points and have very slim chances to qualify for the playoffs. They play their final league match against Chennai Super Kings on October 4.