Strike-rates are very, very overrated: KL Rahul

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) have a new captain at the helm but their problems in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 campaign are still the same. KL Rahul has donned the skipper’s hat but has failed to get the best out of his teammates. In the past few games, he himself seems to have been reeling under the pressure, with his strike-rate taking a significant hit.

Rahul remains the top-scoring batsman in the IPL, with teammate Mayank Agarwal also in the top five. But the manner in which he has scored runs in the last three matches has been unimpressive. The 28-year-old has scored 17 off 19, 63 off 52 and 11 of 16.

“Strike-rates are very, very overrated,” Rahul said after the game. “For me, it’s only about how I can win games for my team. And if on a certain day I think a strike-rate of 120 can win the game for my team, I will do that. This is how I bat and I would like to take responsibility as a leader. We all make mistakes, I’m not saying I have not made a few mistakes but you learn each day as a leader, as a batter.”

Rahul rather pointed out the need to have partnerships where different players play different roles towards a common objective. For the lad from Karnataka, the only goal remains to win the game for the team no matter at what pace is he striking the ball.

“It’s a partnership. When we are out in the middle as a batting group, every player has a role in the team and those roles can change in the middle with each game so I try to do the best I can for the team, try and assess the situation and play according to that. For me at the end of the day, I need to walk out of the ground knowing that I’ve tried to win the game,” he added.

Rahul was also full of praise for Nicholas Pooran – who kept Punjab in the game till the time he was on the pitch. Pooran was eventually dismissed by Rashid Khan for 77 off 37 balls.

“The way he has been batting, even in the last season we had glimpses of how good a player he is,” Rahul pointed out. “We have been having a lot of chats. He is someone who is very keen on being a match-winner for us.

“Until the time he was there, he gave us a lot of hope and made the opposition uncomfortable. If three or four of us with our skills can come together (we can win), we have been fielding well, we have shown a lot of heart. There are a lot of positives, the points table doesn’t suggest that. The execution can go wrong but we need to be patient with the team. We need to keep believing that we are just a few wins away and this team will start looking good.”

With only one win in six games, the Kings XI are truly in a race against time to save their season. They next take on Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.

About the author

Vishwas Gupta