KL Rahul was at his destructive best when the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) took on the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the penultimate league game of the season on Sunday (May 5). Despite playing five dots early on, he took just 19 balls to register his 17th IPL fifty. The right-hander scored 71 runs in just 36 balls to set up the platform for his team in the chase.
In the match, CSK experienced batsmen duo comprising of Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina compiled fabulous innings in the century partnership, but then the KXIP bowler pair of Sam Curran and Mohammed Shami pulled things amazingly well to limit the opposition within a par first innings total. While in the second innings, KXIP opener KL Rahul entertained the home crowd with some remarkable shots in almost all parts of the ground and his phenomenal innings also brought the resulting factor to mere formalities. With this victory, KXIP have also ended their home run on a winning note.
I’ve been holding myself back
KL Rahul faced severe criticism for his slow half-century knock against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), the game which eventually his team loss by a 45-run margin. He compensated for that knock in yesterday’s game and was also presented the Man of the Match award. Rahul said that his aim was to hold up one end. However, he also mentioned that it is important to bring in some alterations in the game.
“I’ve been holding myself back till the last game, because my role was different — playing 20 overs and holding up one end. We knew there wasn’t much left for us in this game. But sometimes, you have to alter your game and play according to how the team wants, but tonight I was playing much more freely,” said KL Rahul during the post-match presentation ceremony.
It came out very well
Rahul played the 71-run knock at an astounding strike-rate of 197.22. The KXIP opener has smashed six half-centuries in the tournament in the tally of 593 runs. “It came out very well today as my strike-rate was much higher. But looking back at it from a personal and team point of view, my strike-rate has dropped, but I have won more games for my team this year,” Rahul added.
The opener noted that it is important to have runs behind the back as it helps to play with a lot of freedom. “You have to curb your shots at times, and if I did that last year, we could have done better. Having runs behind you always helps you play with a lot of freedom and not think too much and just react to the ball – that only helps you when you have runs behind you,” the KXIP opener concluded.