IPL 2023: KL Rahul faces fresh scrutiny over his batting approach

Rahul reached his 50 off 33 balls but then consumed another 28 deliveries for his 18 before he was out in the final over

By PTI

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KL Rahul (right) of Lucknow Super Giants hesitantly looks for a run during the match. — IPL
KL Rahul (right) of Lucknow Super Giants hesitantly looks for a run during the match. — IPL

Published: Sat 22 Apr 2023, 8:45 PM

There has always been a question mark over KL Rahul's poor strike rate. A prolific batsman, Rahul's questionable batting approach had been blamed for many of Punjab Kings' narrow defeats in the past.

Rahul has continued to score runs in the Indian Premier League after he moved to Lucknow Super Giants last year.

But there has been no change in his approach.

And it was his baffling batting approach that led to his team's seven-run loss against Gujarat Titans on Saturday.

Chasing 136 for a win on a sluggish pitch, LSG was cruising along at 105 for one after 14 overs with 31 needed off 36 deliveries but ended at 128 for 7 from 20 overs.

Rahul (68 off 61 balls) reached his 50 off 33 balls but then consumed another 28 deliveries for his 18 before he was out in the final over from which LSG needed 12.

The Indian batter, though, refused to take the blame following the team's defeat.

"I don't know how it happened, but it has happened. I can't put a finger on where it went wrong, but we lost two points today, this is cricket," Rahul said.

"We started well with the bat, but these things happen, we'll have to take it on the chin."

But the LSG captain will fresh scrutiny over his strike rate after Saturday's defeat.

With the host needing 12 off the last six balls, medium pacer Mohit Sharma dismissed Rahul and Marcus Stoinis for a first-ball duck before helping out with two run-outs as Lucknow crashed from 126-3 to 128-7 (20 overs) and fell short of Gujarat’s 135-6 (20 overs) in a stunning manner.

Rahul, however, conceded that the batters should have taken a few more chances as they had wickets in hand.

"We were well ahead in the game and I wasn't really trying to bat deep, I still wanted to play my shots, take on the bowlers, but they bowled well in that 2-3 over period, by Noor and Jayant.

"We perhaps should have taken a few more chances with wickets in hand. They bowled decently. Not an easy wicket for new batters to come in. Set batters need to finish the game.

"We missed some boundary opportunities in the end. The pressure got to us in the last 3-4 overs, we played well until then. But we should have got it done."

Brief scores

Gujarat Titans beats Lucknow Super Giants by seven runs.

Gujarat Titans 135/6 (Hardik Pandya 66, Wriddhiman Saha 47; Krunal Pandya 2/16)

Lucknow Super Giants 128/7 (KL Rahul 68, Kyle Mayers 24; Mohit Sharma 2/17, Noor Ahmed 2/18)

Man-of-the-match: Mohit Sharma

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