IPL 2018: After learning from RCB, KL Rahul ready to work with KXIP

KL Rahul, India’s flamboyant opening batsman, enjoyed a spectacular IPL season with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2016 and emerged as one of the most exciting prospects in Indian cricket after the tournament. The wicketkeeper-batsman combined well with skipper Virat Kohli and was an influential part of RCB’s journey to the IPL final that season. Now, after Kings XI Punjab bagged the India opening batsman, he is ready and excited to be a part of KXIP for IPL 2018.

KXIP had bagged KL Rahul for INR 11 crores

Injury forced KL Rahul to sit out of the 2017 edition of the IPL, which also brought an end to a career-defining journey with RCB, his home franchise. At the mega IPL auction in Bangalore this year, the Karnataka batsman was snapped up by the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for a whopping INR 11 crores and KL Rahul is looking forward to take the next step forward in his journey in the world’s premier T20 league.

There has never really been any doubt about Rahul’s talent and technical ability but he has had to face criticism from pundits and fans across the country due to his tendency to be overly aggressive and getting out to false shots, often leaving his team in a lurch. Nevertheless, Rahul is still a player who is still held in high regard by Indian captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri.

KL Rahul excited to be a part of KXIP in IPL 2018

Coming back to his upcoming IPL stint with KXIP, the 25-year-old revealed that he can’t wait to get started for his new team and is ‘super excited’ at the prospect of working with a legend like Virender Sehwag at the franchise this year.

In an interview to News18, Rahul stated that after securing the bumper IPL deal with Punjab, he hasn’t been short of goosebumps.

“You are always excited to start any new journey in life and this is one such thing. Yes, I have learnt a lot from RCB and other franchises like Sunrisers Hyderabad. Every franchise that you play for, you learn a lot about yourself and also learn from the teammates and the support staff. This will be a new experience and I am looking forward to it. Like I said, the way I play the game doesn’t change. It will just be more responsibility on me and I love being that person that the team looks up to when it comes to winning games and also really looking forward to a couple of months in Punjab,” he said.

Rahul is also likely to be the first-choice wicket-keeper for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2018 and the right-hander revealed that he has made some minor alterations to his style of training so as to adapt to the challenges that come with keeping wickets and play a lead batsman’s role in a hectic format like the IPL where you play one day and travel the next day.

“When it comes to training, it has changed a lot. I am not used to keeping wickets for a long time. It’s been the IPL and a few matches here and there for my state. Physically, I have changed the way I train as I have to keep day-in and day-out for a long time as it takes a lot out of my body. I am looking to get stronger and hopefully keep away from injuries,” he stated.

KL Rahul’s views on Virat Kohli

When asked about his biggest inspiration in the game, the rookie opener was extremely quick in answering that his national captain Virat Kohli has been a huge inspiration to him and every young  player in the Indian dressing room. “He is an extremely good player and we all know the numbers that he has achieved in the years that he has played so yeah, he is a big inspiration and it is great to have a captain like him in the team who leads from the front,” Rahul concluded.


READ: IPL 2018: Ashwin’s message for most senior player of KXIP, Yuvraj Singh.