IPL 2018, Money Spinners: KL Rahul Aims To Repay Kings XI Punjab's Faith

Updated: 03 April 2018 11:13 IST

KL Rahul was picked up for a massive Rs 11 crore by Kings XI Punjab.

IPL 2018, Money Spinners: KL Rahul Aims To Repay Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul had struggled in his first two IPL seasons. © BCCI

KL Rahul has been one of the most consistent performers for India in Twenty20 internationals but despite that, the stylish right-hander has been in and out of Team India. With many Indian stars giving the Nidahas Trophy T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka a miss, Rahul was expected to be one of the key players in the tournament but he didn't even find a place in the playing XI in the first two matches against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, respectively.

However, that is not the case on the domestic circuit as Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) showed great faith in Rahul and paid a premium amount (Rs 11 crore) to buy his services in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 auction earlier this year.

Rahul has played 15 T20Is for India, scoring exactly 500 runs at a brilliant average of 45.45. Only skipper Virat Kohli (50.84) has a higher average than him in T20Is in the Indian team. What's even more impressive is the fact that Rahul has shown consistency while scoring at a fast rate. His strike-rate of 146.62 is even better than Kohli's in T20Is.

Rahul is also among the three Indian batsmen to have scored a century in T20Is -- Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma being the other two.

Even in the IPL, Rahul has made huge strides and was one of the key players in Royal Challengers Bangalore's (RCB) march towards the final in 2016.

Rahul had struggled in his first two IPL seasons. He made his debut IPL debut with RCB in 2013 as a wicketkeeper and managed to score a paltry 20 runs from five matches at an average of 10.

He was then bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for Rs. 1 crore at the auction. Rahul improved marginally but did nothing of note in the 2014 season. He played 11 games, scoring a total of 166 runs at an average of 20.75 and a high score of 46.

In 2015, Rahul moved back to RCB, playing appearing in nine matches that season. He managed to a total of 142 runs at an average of 28.40.

The real breakthrough year for Rahul came next season as he set the stage alight with some brilliant knocks.

Rahul played 14 matches for RCB, scoring a whopping 397 runs at an average of 44.11 and a strike rate of 146.49. The 25-year- old notched up four half-centuries and also took five catches and four stumpings in a memorable year for RCB.

Rahul's contribution somewhat went under the radar with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in destructive form in the 2016 season.

Rahul missed out on IPL 10 after being ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. The Indian batsman will be itching to get the ball rolling in IPL 11 but instead of enthralling a boisterous Bengaluru crowd, he will now play his home matches in Mohali.

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Topics : Kings XI Punjab India Cricket Team Lokesh Rahul Cricket Indian Premier League 2018
Highlights
  • Rahul has been one of the most consistent performers for India in T20Is
  • Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) showed great faith in Rahul
  • Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) paid Rs 11 crore for KL Rahul
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