India batsman KL Rahul had started this year brilliantly during the tour of New Zealand and he was looking to carry forward the same form in IPL 2020 but cricket remained at a grinding halt for almost six months due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Now that the 13th edition of IPL started on September 19, Rahul is looking forward to lead Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the cash-rich tournament.
Rahul, who was appointed as KXIP’s captain in December 2019, said his side is motivated to make this IPL season a memorable one by playing a good brand of cricket.
Kings XI Punjab will open their campaign against Delhi Capitals (DC) on September 20 in Dubai.
“The team has been fantastic, we’ve been getting along great and are looking forward to playing a good brand of cricket and making this season a memorable one,” Rahul said. “We’re confident, we’re motivated and we are really excited to be a part of this edition of the Indian Premier League,” he added.
Rahul also admitted that it will be a challenging experience playing in the UAE without the fans but the team is ready for it.
“It is going to be a different experience this year, but we as a team are up to the challenge and are playing for all the fans who continue to support us,” he said.
KXIP, who have never won the IPL, are aiming to lift the cup this time with a strong squad at their disposal. Apart from the local stars like Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Mohammad Shami, the team has overseas recruits such as Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Jimmy Neesham, Nicholas Pooran and Mujeeb Zadran in their ranks.
“The team looks great and we have a top-notch line up this season. The boys have been working really hard and we have a nice balance of youth and experience in our squad,” KXIP head coach Anil Kumble said.
“We are all looking forward to having a good season this year. I truly believe that Kings XI Punjab have the necessary squad to go all the way in this IPL,” he added.
(With PTI inputs)