India's KL Rahul is set to assume captaincy duties for the first time in the Indian Premier League when he takes the field for Kings XI Punjab in the 2020 edition of the tournament. The KXIP squad was among the first to reach the United Arab Emirates, as the team prepares for the 13th edition of the league.
Rahul was made the captain of the Punjab franchise after Ravichandran Ashwin, who led the side in the 2019 season, was traded off to Delhi Capitals.
In a conversation with newspaper Indian Express, Rahul has revealed on his thought process during matches throughout his career, saying that he "always played the game thinking as if I'm the captain."
“I always played the game thinking as if I’m the captain. At the ground, I always think of what I would have done in a particular situation,” Rahul said.
“Whom I would have bowled in a situation? I was always proactive in my head and it’s just an extension of that. I know it will be harder than I think. I am not going in with any expectations, like I have played cricket so many years.
“I will get on the field and try to make decisions in the moment. You can’t plan too much because it could be confusing."
Talking about the IPL in UAE, Rahul said, “Honestly, we are not worried now about the bio-bubble or lack of spectators. We have to adapt to the situation and it’s a good story to tell 15-20 years down the line. We need to utilise the three-week training period there well.”
Earlier, Glenn Maxwell, who makes a comeback to the Kings XI Punjab side this season, had said that it is "Kings XI Punjab's time to win" the IPL trophy. While Rahul wasn't as straightforward in his opinion, he believes that KXIP are "way better team than what the results show."
“It’s a newish line-up, we have impact players, a lot of skill players and a young new captain. We will not carry the baggage of previous years, we will learn from it, try to correct our mistakes. And what will happen will happen,” said Rahul.