KL Rahul had a terrific season in the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year as he smashed 659 runs in 14 games at an average of over 50. However, the 26-year-old opener, who played his first season for the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in 2018, has had a roller-coaster of a year in terms of his form in international cricket till IPL 2019.
The Karnataka lad found himself in and out of the Indian squad time and again as he failed to score big, both at home and abroad.
On Tuesday, Rahul made a massive revelation explaining the reason behind his great numbers for KXIP after he was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ahead of the mega-auction last season. Rahul was the third highest run-scorer in IPL 2018 after joining the new franchise.
“At RCB I was under the shadow of Virat and AB de Villiers and here I am No.1 and that has helped,” Rahul told India Today.
Rahul said, “2018 was magical for me as far as IPL is concerned. With a really good and balanced team, this year also should be good.”
“Chris Gayle is just an incredible entertainer. I told him at 37 he has rediscovered form. He said he is nearing 40! At 40 he can play like this is unreal.” he added.
In the IPL 2016 season, Rahul scored 397 runs in 14 matches for the RCB but missed the 2017 season because of a shoulder injury. The RCB did not retain him for the following year when KXIP bought him for a whopping Rs 11 crore and he paid it back by registering a heavy tally of runs with six half-centuries. In the Orange Cap list, Rahul finished third after Kane Williamson and Rishabh Pant.
Through IPL 2019, Rahul will be looking to seal a spot in India’s World Cup squad for England and Wales as a back-up opener. “I am going to be far more disciplined this IPL with the World Cup in mind,” Rahul further added. “Selection is not in my hands but I will do all to give myself the best chance.”