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IPL 2019: One of KXIP openers needed to bat long, says KL Rahul

Rahul has scored 520 runs in 12 innings he batted this year thus far.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Hyderabad: KL Rahul continued his batting exploits from where he left in the 2018 season and became the 2nd player to reach the 500-run mark in the 2019 edition. Rahul scored 659 runs across 14 innings during the previous season and 520 runs in 12 innings he batted this year thus far. However, the major difference in Rahul’s batting across both seasons for the Kings XI Punjab has been his approach.

Rahul had a strike-rate of 158.41 in 2018 where he even registered the fastest fifty in the history of IPL. However, this year, the SR has come down to 131.64. On Monday, chasing a target of 213 runs against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rahul was batting on 39 off 36 balls at end of the 13th over. Rahul scored 40 runs in the next 20 deliveries but couldn’t make a difference to KXIP’s losing margin either.

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The 27-year-old revealed that one of him and Chris Gayle batting longer is what the team required from their opening game. With the early dismissal of Gayle, the onus was on the Kannadiga to bat through. Rahul, however, admitted that he couldn’t really find the gaps and time his shots properly which didn’t allow him to score at the required pace in the big chase.

“The team’s plan is one of me and Chris (Gayle) has to bat as deep as possible so others can play around. That doesn’t mean you don’t play your shots. I tried my shots a few times but those didn’t really come off,” said KL Rahul when asked about his batting approach.

If I am set, I can make it count in the end

Rahul didn’t mind missing out scoring opportunities early on as he believed himself to score once set. The major missing in the chase according to him was the partnerships which came to an end after 2-3 good hits. He felt that a couple of big partnerships could have helped them chase the total as 200 has become quite normal in the shortest format.

Also read- IPL 2019: Match 48, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kings XI Punjab – Lesser Known Stats

“Not always you get off to an amazing start. You don’t get 20-ball 50 all the time. I know that if I am set, I can make it count in the end. We couldn’t get enough batting partnerships. Each time we tried to take a chance, we found the fielder,” Rahul added.

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