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  5. Will the real KL Rahul stand up please?

Will the real KL Rahul stand up please?

KL Rahul's IPL ended yesterday after RCB beat LSG by 14 runs. This was Rahul's third consecutive season where he surpassed the 600-run landmark. 

Kartik Mehindru Written by: Kartik Mehindru New Delhi Published on: May 26, 2022 18:14 IST
KL Rahul | File Photo
Image Source : IPL

KL Rahul | File Photo

KL Rahul is one of the best batsmen going around. He has carved his place in the Indian team and is among the few players who are good, rather great in all three formats of the game.

KL Rahul's IPL ended yesterday after RCB beat LSG by 14 runs. This was Rahul's third consecutive season where he surpassed the 600-run landmark. In total, he now has four seasons where he has scored 600+ runs. 

It is no ordinary feat as he is the only one to do it four times. Chris Gayle and David Warner are second on the list. Both have achieved the landmark three times. The numbers are outstanding. But have these numbers helped his team?

Unfortunately, not so much. Rahul has numbers on his side, his intent to bat long and deep and hold one end, can also be justified to some extent. But wasn't that the case with Punjab Kings?

Apart from him and Mayank at the top, only Pooran was a known big hitter. Gayle was woefully out of sorts, and Hooda wasn't really at his best. Shahrukh Khan was just an up and coming hitter who showed sparks of brilliance every now and then. So, it made sense for him to bat deep and long. Rahul ended the 2021 season with a strike rate was 138.80. 

This season, he has the likes of Stoinis, Krunal, Lewis, Badoni, QDK, Holder, and an in-form Hooda to support him. But even then, he has ended the season with a strike rate of 135. What is even more frustrating is the fact that he has all the ability in the world to go from ball one.

Who can forget his iconic 14-ball 50 against Delhi Daredevils in 2018 for Punjab? KL has played 56 T20I's for India, averaging 40.68 at a strike rate of 142. 

Rahul's intent might be right, but this has been going on for too long now to ignore. In the eliminator vs RCB, Rahul scored 79 off

58 deliveries, and held one end up. But again, as with so many times in the past, the other batters couldn't just step up. 

One can argue that if Rahul too played aggressively, Lucknow Super Giants wouldn't have gotten close to the target. But that's the thing if Rahul is playing the way he is, then he has to take the responsibility to finish the game off. 

It's a two-edged sword. If it comes off, no one will have a problem with it. But if it doesn't, everyone will have a problem.

But Rahul has tried to play in this manner and tried it for a long now. Maybe it's time for the real KL Rahul to stand up. The one that has the ability to destroy any attack in the world. The one that can instil fear in the opposition's camp from the word go.