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October 16 2018
K.L. Rahul: Blending style with substance
11 May 2018

Rahul shows technique need not be compromised in T20s

A fortnight ago K.L. Rahul posted a photo of himself, from an IPL match of Kings XI Punjab, on his Twitter handle. Along with the picture was a question addressed to his first coach Samuel Jayaraj Muthu: ‘coach, you proud of this? Head still and elbows high!’

Any coach would surely be proud, especially when it is done in the maddening frenzy of Twenty20 cricket.

In IPL-11, the stylish batsman from Karnataka has shown that one doesn’t need to compromise on technique to score big consistently in the shortest format. Purists would be pleased.

One of the most pleasing sights has been the way Rahul has been timing his shots, right from his first match for Kings XI Punjab against Delhi Daredevils at Mohali. After a great season in 2016, in which he scored 397 at 44.41 for RCB, he missed last year’s tournament due to the shoulder injury he sustained during the Test series against Australia, in which he made 393 runs at 65.5.

Change of teams

He made his IPL comeback — and the change of teams — count, slamming the fastest fifty in the IPL, off just 14 balls. Rahul

He has followed it up with scores of 47, 37, 18, 60, 23, 32, 24, 84 not out and 95 not out. He was unlucky that his highest score came in a losing cause, against Rajasthan Royals, in Jaipur a couple of days ago.

That innings, however, fetched him the orange cap. After 10 matches, he has 471 runs at an average of 58.87 and a strike-rate of 156.47.

“I believe Rahul is India’s best batsman across formats after Kohli and his performance in the IPL could make him an even better and more confident player than he already is,” P.V. Shashikanth, Karanataka’s Ranji Trophy coach who has worked with him since his under-19 days, told The Hindu on Thursday. “I was impressed with him from the first time I saw him. His timing and technique caught my eye straightaway.”

Shashikanth felt nobody would classify Rahul as merely a Test batsman now. “He has been phenomenal in this IPL. His 

 

 

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