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  5. Exclusive | Never thought I would play for Kings XI Punjab, says KL Rahul

Exclusive | Never thought I would play for Kings XI Punjab, says KL Rahul

KL Rahul is easily among the few standout performers of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 which has reached its business end.

Written by: Aditya Chauhan , New Delhi [ Updated: May 11, 2018 20:30 IST ]
Image Source : PTI

KL Rahul in action during an IPL 2018 match

KL Rahul is easily among the few standout performers of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 which has reached its business end. The right-handed batsman has hardly put a foot wrong in the cash-rich league and has scored prolifically for his franchise - Kings XI Punjab. In the 10 matches, he has played this season, Rahul has scored  471 runs at an impressive average of 58.88. His strike-rate of 156.48 has also made a huge difference for Punjab at the top of the order. 

With his picture-perfect technique and a rock-solid defence, the 26-year old batsman has also shown challenged the concept of playing unorthodox and high-risk shots in cricket's shortest format. It would not be an overstatement to say that Rahul's timing and elegance is undoubtedly the most pleasing sight on the 22-yard strip which would make any cricket purist proud.

In an exclusive chat with IndiaTV, Rahul made a big revelation about his current franchise Kings XI Punjab of which he is a part of. "Kings XI Punjab was in the last of the list I had in my mind. I thought I'll remain in Bangalore or will go to some other club but never thought of being picked by Punjab."

"But I am happy. We are a strong team and have a nice bonding," Rahul added.

After missing out on last year's edition of IPL due to a shoulder injury, Rahul was bought by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping price of Rs 11 crore at the IPL Player Auction held in January this year. In the opening match for Kings, the Mangalore-born batsman smashed the fastest half-century in the IPL history, off just 14 balls. 

“I am in a good mind space and have a hunger to score runs. KXIP have showed so much of faith in me, so I have to deliver and win games for them. It's in my nature that when I go on the ground, I assess the situation and try to win the game for my team,” the stylish right-hander added.

After batting with the likes of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rahul has got a chance to open the innings with one of the legends of T20 cricket - Chris Gayle. Speaking about Gayle, he said, "He is a complete entertainer. He is a destructive batsman, so you enjoy when you play along with him. With his intimidating stats, he always remains to be one of the best T20 batsmen in the world."

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