Anil Kumble reveals the reason behind appointing KL Rahul as KXIP's new captain

Anil Kumble reveals the reason behind appointing KL Rahul as KXIP’s new captain

Kings XI ran through a disappointing season last season where they finished sixth in the points table with six wins and eight defeats.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo: IANS)

There is no hiding from the fact that Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) entered the IPL 2020 auction with the extensive financial resources among the eight IPL teams with an available purse Rs 42.7 crore. This allowed them to bid heavily for their picks during intense bidding wars. Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was the expensive pick for KXIP as he was purchased for a whopping Rs 10.75 crore, which is the second-expensive signing in the IPL 2020 auction.

West Indies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell was bought for a staggering Rs 8.50 crore. Justifying the hefty pay cheque for Glenn Maxwell, Punjab’s head coach Anil Kumble added that their needed firepower in the middle order to turn up the heat. Case in point, Ravichandran Ashwin’s exit from Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) created a big void in the squad.

He is not just a veteran Indian premier off-spinner but also a captain. In the last two editions of the cash-rich tournament, Ravi Ashwin captained Kings XI in 28 matches and claimed 25 wickets to his name. Kings XI Punjab confirmed the trade of Tamil Nadu off-spinner to Delhi Capitals (DC).

Why KL Rahul was named the captain? Anil Kumble reveals

After Ashwin’s departure, Punjab were tasked with the responsibility of naming a new leader in the team. Anil Kumble, who was appointed as the head coach made up his mind to give the captaincy duties to opening batsman KL Rahul ahead of IPL 2020. Kumble reckons that this is the right time for KL Rahul to escort the team from the vanguard while adding that there is no one better than Rahul.

“We wanted to give responsibility to KL Rahul. This is the right time for him to take over the mantle and it is important to build a franchise around an Indian player and there’s no one better than Rahul,” Anil Kumble told Sportstar in an interview as he revealed the reason behind appointing KL Rahul as the new captain.

KL Rahul has been a consistent performer for Kings XI Punjab with the bat and Kumble believes that KL Rahul is the right man to take Kings XI Punjab forward. Kings XI ran through a disappointing season last season where they finished sixth in the points table with six wins and eight defeats. Though KL Rahul hasn’t really fulfilled the responsibility of a captain at the shorter format, he will be looking forward to giving his best shot for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League.

“He is extremely talented and we know the quality that he brings to the team as a batsman and as a wicketkeeper if at all he has to keep. And then the respect he commands in the team. Last two years he’s been the best performer for the King’s XI with the bat. Obviously, all these things matter. With the kind of support team that we have put together, the coaching team, I strongly believe that we will be able to support Rahul in every way so that he can flourish as a captain,” Kumble added.

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