Had the licence to go after bowlers from 1st ball, says KL Rahul after his blistering knock

Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul, who played a blistering knock and helped his team win against Chennai Super Kings, on Thursday said that his plan was very clear and he had the licence to go after the bowlers, right from the very first ball of the innings.

Rahul remained unbeaten on 98 off 42 and single-handedly helped Punjab Kings overhaul the target of 135 runs in the 13th over and beat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in the 53rd match of the IPL 2021 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

This was Punjab’s sixth win in 14 matches and they jumped to fifth spot after the victory. They still have an outside chance of advancing to the playoffs but will have to rely on results of other teams.

“It was really hot today. Plan was simple. The numbers guys pulled up a few permutations and combinations. They said if we chase this before 14 overs it gives us the best chance. So the plan was clear and I had the licence to go from ball 1. One of those days when it comes off when you have complete clarity,” said KL Rahul, in the post-match presentation ceremony.

“All of them hit the middle of the bat. I don’t think I have creamed the ball that sweetly in some time,” he added.

The star opener has been questioned for his below par strike-rate in the past, but that hasn’t bothered him much because of his clarity of role in the team.

KL finished with an strike rate of 233.33 in the match and said that he would be letting the team down if he starts playing the way he wants to.

“It was just what the team needs. I know there has been a lot of talk in the last 3-4 years about my strike rate and me playing slowly. But only my team and I know what my role and what my responsibility is. I tried to play the role the team requires of me every game. I feel I am letting the team down if I play the kind of cricket I want to play,” the Punjab skipper said.

“It’s always team first for me. That’s how I have grown up and that’s how I will continue to play. Today the team needed this. I was happy that I could play this kind of knock,” he added.