KL Rahul reveals how Brendon McCullum’s 158 not out in IPL 2008 inspired him to play bold shots

KL Rahul reveals how Brendon McCullum’s 158 not out in IPL 2008 inspired him to play bold shots

"For us as youngsters, it was unbelievable."

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It was on April 18, 2008, when the first match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was played. The game was between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru and it was a massive one straightaway. KKR opener Brendon McCullum went on to slam 158 not out off just 73 balls and Sourav Ganguly’s team won the encounter by 140 runs. The IPL was a mega-hit from Day 1.

In a recent revelation, local lad KL Rahul said he watched the game from the stands and the New Zealander’s innings inspired him to add bolder strokes to his batting arsenal. The dashing batsman hit 10 fours and 13 sixes during his knock that powered KKR to an imposing total of 222 for 3. McCullum had played all sort of shots on that day, mesmerising the cricketing world and Rahul, a teenager then, found such batting too tempting.

“I was in the stadium as a 16-year-old boy watching the game. Brendon McCullum got a 158 with the kind of batting that we had never ever seen or witnessed before. Obviously, the flavour and madness of T20 began with the 2008 IPL season,” Rahul, who later played for RCB and currently plays for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), was quoted as saying by Red Bull.

McCullum’s hitting seemed unbelievable for a young Rahul

“For us as youngsters, it was unbelievable. After that is when I started practising hitting sixes, reverse sweeps and scoop shots. That is one of my first IPL memories and one of my favourites.”

McCullum’s 158 not out had remained the top individual score for many years till Chris Gayle hit 175 not out in 66 balls for RCB against Pune Warriors India at the same venue.

Rahul, who made his India debut in 2014, played for the RCB in 2013 and then played two seasons for SRH in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, he had a good season for RCB, amassing 397 runs at a strike-rate of 146 plus but couldn’t play in the 2017 season because of a shoulder injury. He shifted base to KXIP last year and again had a magnificent season with over 650 runs.

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