After Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) 14-run loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Eliminator at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday, many fans and experts have come down hard on LSG skipper KL Rahul for his knock.
In a knockout game, Rahul, during his side’s mammoth chase of 208, top-scored with 79 off 58 balls, but it wasn’t enough. The right-handed batter fell in the 19th over to Josh Hazlewood, and eventually, LSG lost the match and got crashed out of the fifteenth season of the cash-rich league.
Many experts raised questions about the way Rahul paced his innings, including former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar. The cricketer-turned-commentator observed that instead of playing longer, Rahul should’ve focused on playing quicker.
“K.L Rahul himself has the ability to do that. Every time he decided to play the big shot, it came off. He played a couple of terrific shots against (Josh) Hazelwood. He can do it when he wants to, but he just has this very deep-rooted belief, or an attitude, or an approach, that he wants to bat longer rather than quicker,” said Manjrekar on the T20 Time-Out show on ESPNCricinfo.
“If I was his coach, I would just take that decision out of his hand even if he’s the captain, for we’ve seen a lot of games where the teams would benefit immensely if K.L Rahul just batted quicker rather than longer,” he added.
Manjrekar drew comparisons with the likes of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma and reckoned that Rahul is ‘temperamentally not suited’ for the responsibility of being the main batter, especially when he is captaining in the IPL.
“We’ve seen enough of KL Rahul to now know that when he becomes this player, the captain, the key player of the side. I mean, Virat Kohli loves that kind of responsibility. Dhoni loved it. I think Rohit Sharma, barring this season, generally likes that kind of responsibility,” asserted the 56-year-old.
“Maybe K.L Rahul temperamentally is not suited to take this kind of responsibility where he is the man who has got to get the job done. They are just made of different mettle, and maybe K.L Rahul isn’t,” Manjrekar added further.