The Kings XI Punjab had a season full of misfortunes in the first half of IPL 2020, as the franchise found ways to lose matches from winning matches, which found them at the bottom of the table. However, there has been one shining light for the franchise amidst the ruins.
KL Rahul, in his maiden season as captain of the team, has kept his frustrations aside and with the bat in hand, looked the player the world has come to know in the past few years.
The right-hander has amassed over 500 runs in the competition, most of which have come with minimal slogging and reaped maximum reward for him and even though the rest around him have shown inconsistency with the bat, Rahul has kept the boat floating for his side.
The IPL may only be a 20-over competition, but it does take a toll on players because of the intensity and pressure it puts on marquee players to deliver day-in-and-day-out.
Add captaincy to that and the expectations raise multi-fold. There have been players who have found it tough to rise to those expectations and others have felt more motivated with it. Rahul, it seems like, is in the second category. Even when captaincy was not a responsibility, Rahul has been KXIP’s best player in the last two seasons.
Bought by the Punjab franchise at the 2018 auction, when he was neither a retainee nor a RTM card player for RCB. In the three seasons so far for them, he has become yet another player from the Bangalore franchise, who has gone elsewhere and blossomed.
In 2018, the Karnataka player amassed 659 runs in 14 matches, but the team squandered a superb start and finished seventh on the table.
Last season, he made 593 runs for the franchise and they finished sixth. This season, he has thus far made 525 runs in nine matches. The next best is his opening partner from the same team, Mayank Agarwal, who has made 393 runs in the same number of matches.
What it shows is that Rahul has relished the responsibility of playing at the top of the order and has been able to play with a clear head, despite so much happening around the team.
In the remaining few matches, he would hope for more contributions from the likes of Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran etc. If that does happen, then Rahul can aim to pace his innings better and aim at getting bigger scores for the franchise, which could benefit them further.
Rahul has shown a penchant this season to get big scores when he has had overs under his belt. He is one of the few players who has made a hundred this season and in the final few overs, in the couple of innings that he has remained in the crease, Rahul has shown he can accelerate and accelerate quickly.
Fans of Rahul and Kings XI Punjab are hoping he has a few more big scores up his sleeve in the remaining five matches of the group stage. If you believe this is going to happen, you should go ahead and bet on a victory for Kings XI Punjab on one of the many great betting sites like Betway!