KL Rahul, the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) opener gave a harsh treatment to bowlers and piled up 659 with a strike rate of 159.41 in 14 matches in the recently concluded IPL 2018. He could have ended up as the highest run scorer of the season had his team qualified for the playoffs stage.
The 26-year-old Indian cricketer discussed his tactics during the IPL which helped him score big. Rahul was present at the Mohali IS Bindra PCA Stadium to watch Red Bull Campus Cricket National Finals. He himself has played this tournament in 2013.
“I have always believed that one has to play according to the situations in cricket. Especially in the T-20 format where every ball is an event. The game changes with every ball and one need to adjust his game according to what the team needs. Whether it’s a single, four or a six. Whatever cricket I played for India in the last 2-3 years, I used that experience in this IPL and played with a clear mind.
"Sometimes, the best performances come when the mind is calm and one plays with a free mind. That’s what I did in IPL. My focus was that I should be the person to finish the game for the team. As a player, you want to face such kind of situations where you are able to finish the task for the team. And such situations can even come in a World Cup semi-final or final. So, this IPL taught me a lot and helped my game mentally as well,” shared Rahul.
The right-handed explosive batsman is eyeing a berth in Team India for the World Cup 2019. “Obviously playing in the World Cup is a dream but it is still a year away. A lot can happen in one year. I just want to take it one game at a time and whatever opportunities I get in whichever format. I have never played in England before and I have only watched the past matches on TV. If you play in India, you know the home conditions well but you also want to be challenged. And, if you can perform well in England and Australia, it will make you more experienced. We will be playing the T-20 and ODI series before the Test series and it will help us acclimatize to the conditions first. When my first Test hundred came in Sydney in 2014, I remember my name being placed on the honors board. If I can hit a century at Lord’s, it will be a moment to remember for me,” said Rahul.
Rahul believes India can't undermine Afghanistan and they should use the only Test against them as preparation for upcoming England tour. “Afghanistan is a very good team and they will be a big name in international cricket in the next 10-12 years. I played along with 17-year-old old spinner Mujeeb Zadran for Kings XI Punjab and the way he handled the pressure and bowled during the tournament speaks about his talent. Same goes for Rashid Khan, who was exceptional for Sunrisers Hyderabad. No batsman was able to read him and facing their spin-heavy bowling attack will be a good challenge for the Indian team,” added Rahul.