Strike-Rate Is Overrated, Playing the Situation Is Important: KL

Rahul said that if he feels he can win the games for KXIP with strike-rate of 120, he will do that.

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Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul said that the strike-rate is overrated and if on a certain day he can win the game for his team with a strike-rate of 120, he will do that, after his side’s loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday.

When asked about his low strike rates in the last few of games and if it is a plan to play cautiously at the top, Rahul said, “This is how I bat and I like to take responsibility and as a leader, you have to take responsibility. We all make mistakes, I’m not saying I haven't made a few mistakes.” He added that every player has different roles in the team and that can change in the middle according to the situation.

In the last three games (including Thursday’s), KL Rahul has scores of 17 (19), 63 (52) and 11 (16) and his scoring rate has been criticised.

Chasing 202, Kings XI didn’t get off to a great start as they lost the opener, Mayank Agarwal, in the second over owing to a great fielding effort from SRH skipper David Warner. KXIP lost wicket-keeper batsman Prabhsimran Singh soon and KL Rahul at the other end had to hold one end.

Coming in at No 4, Nicholas Pooran gave hope as he started smashing SRH bowlers from the first ball. However, none of the other batsmen could stick with him for long and he too eventually fell prey to Rashid Khan.

‘Pooran was Phenomenal, Need Other Batters to Contribute’

Asked about Nicholas Pooran’s innings of 77 runs off just 37 deliveries including 7 sixes, Rahul said that the innings was phenomenal. He said that last season they saw glimpses of what he can do and this season he has shown that he wants to be the match-winner for his side and wants to improve every game.

However, Rahul rued the fact that none of the other batsmen could stay with him. He said that the points table doesn’t suggest it but they have played some good cricket, they have been fielding well, and their death bowling came good against the Sunrisers.

According to him if 3-4 batters can come together and start supporting their efforts in the field, they can turn this around.

Asked about if the KXIP batting order is over-reliant on him and Mayank with the middle-order not coming good together, Rahul said that when a team is at the bottom of the points table, people start picking every single thing.

“No team has top-six players all firing. A couple of them will be in good form and a couple of them won’t be looking good, so it’s important for the in-form players to get as many runs as possible for the team and openers are always expected to give teams a good start.” He added that he is not that worried with it but wants the set players to score big.

‘Heartening to See Arshdeep & Bishnoi ome Good in the Death Overs’

Rahul was particularly pleased with his side’s bowling performance in the last five overs, especially by the left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh and the leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi.

He said that both of them bowled extremely high-pressure overs and they held their nerve and performed brilliantly with the ball. He added that IPL is a great stage for youngsters to showcase their talent and will give the players and the whole group a lot of confidence.

After Sunrisers were 160/0 at the end of the 15 overs, both Bishnoi and Arshdeep took wickets and put a brake on the SRH’s scoring rate as they could score only 41 runs with the loss of 6 wickets in the last five overs.

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