Though Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) failed to qualify for playoffs in the recently-concluded IPL 2020, their skipper KL Rahul clinched the Orange Cap on the back of some consistent batting shows. Leading from the front, Rahul bolstered the KXIP batting unit by consistently delivering at the top and amassing 670 runs in the tournament.
Rahul's stellar form with the bat was a positive for the Punjab franchise. However, his captaincy raised a few eyebrows following KXIP's topsy-turvy ride in the UAE. After losing six out of first seven games, Rahul's men registered five wins on the trot to keep playoffs dream alive.
But after suffering defeats in their last two games, KXIP failed to achieve a top-four finish and finished sixth in the points table with 12 points. After missing the playoffs berth after the narrowest of margins, cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra has said that Rahul has to take the blame for being unable to find an ideal playing XI.
“I was 50-50 with KL Rahul’s captaincy. Because he will have to take some of the blame for Kings XI Punjab not being able to find their ideal XI. I am sure these are the decisions of the team management and all of that but you also play a part. So that is an issue because it took some time to understand,” said Chopra in his YouTube video.
“He handled the bowlers well, didn’t play them consistently at the start. But when he started playing them, he used Ravi Bishnoi well, Murugan was used well also and even Shami was used well. In fact, let me just say this that KL Rahul’s captaincy kept improving as the tournament progressed,” added Chopra.
After his captaincy stint in the UAE, Rahul will be seen donning the Indian jersey during India's tour Down Under. The Indian contingent has already arrived in Australia and all players have started sweating out in the nets ahead of the gruelling two-month tour. The Virat Kohli-led side is set to play three ODIs and as many T20Is from November 27, followed by the much-awaited four-Test series.