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All you need to know about KL Rahul

KL Rahul is one of the most talented batsmen in the current Indian cricket team lineup. Since making his international debut in 2014, According to top cricket news Rahul has grown into one of India’s most reliable top-order batsmen and wicketkeeper-batsmen across formats. Rahul is an orthodox, classical batsman who relies on impeccable timing and placement. His compact technique, balance at the crease and adaptability across formats and situations make him a prized asset in the Indian batting lineup. This article takes a deep dive into Rahul’s cricket career so far tracing his journey from young prodigy to senior batsman and potential future captain.

Early Life and Domestic Career

Kannur Lokesh Rahul, commonly known as KL Rahul, was born on 18 April 1992 in Mangalore, Karnataka. Rahul was inclined towards sports from childhood and took up cricket quite early. He trained under former India all-rounder and state level player Javagal Srinath who became his mentor. Rahul made rapid progress representing Karnataka at all age group levels.

Rahul made his List A debut for Karnataka in December 2010. After a string of consistent scores, he made his first-class debut in the Ranji Trophy in November 2012. The 2013 IPL provided the perfect platform for Rahul to get noticed. Playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Rahul amassed over 400 runs in the season at a sterling average of 44. His technique and composure shone through after which he became a regular in the Karnataka Ranji team.

Rahul enjoyed a prolific Ranji season in 2013-14 scoring 1033 runs at an average of 68.86 including four centuries and five fifties. He carried this form into the 2014-15 Ranji season as well and ended with an impressive aggregate of 1114 runs. On the back of his prolific returns in domestic cricket, Rahul was fast-tracked into the national T20 and ODI squads.

International Debut

KL Rahul’s consistency in domestic cricket earned him his international call-up against Zimbabwe in June 2016 when a second string Indian team was announced. He made his T20I debut on 18 June 2016 at Harare and scored a polished 61 off 54 balls. His technique and temperament impressed everyone as Rahul announced himself on the big stage.

Rahul built on his T20I performance and made his ODI debut against the same opponents in the same tour. He scored a brilliant 100 off just 115 balls, becoming the first Indian batsman and third overall to score a century on ODI debut. Rahul played with supreme control and maturity anchoring the Indian innings while scoring at a good clip. This dream debut marked the arrival of a special talent.

Rahul earned his Test debut against Australia in December 2014 on the back of his spectacular limited overs shows. He was selected in the squad as an opener for the high-profile Border Gavaskar Trophy. Though Rahul could not convert his starts in his debut Test series, he again showcased excellent technique and temperament. Rahul had marked his arrival on the international stage across all three satta matka guessing.

Establishing as an Opener and Slump in Form

In late 2016, KL Rahul got his opportunity as a Test opener after regular openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay suffered injuries. This turned out to be Rahul’s breakout phase as he enjoyed a brilliant run of form in Tests. Between 2016-2017, Rahul smashed four Test centuries and went on to top the run charts for India in this 13-Test stretch.

Rahul especially excelled outside Asia during this period with a century each in West Indies, Australia and England along with fifties in South Africa and New Zealand. His average as opener touched 60, establishing him as India’s premier Test opener alongside Vijay. However, Rahul went through a poor run of form in 2018 struggling especially in England’s swinging conditions scoring just 257 runs in 11 innings.

Rahul showed glimpses of returning to form with a 149 against England in August 2018 followed by an 18-ball fifty, then the joint fastest by an Indian in T20Is. But he remained inconsistent across formats with below-par returns in 2019 as well. Rahul’s inconsistency saw him getting dropped from the Test squad in the West Indies and later from limited overs teams post World Cup 2019. It was a prolonged rough patch but Rahul seemed determined to work his way back.

Spectacular Comeback across Formats

KL Rahul’s fortunes turned dramatically in 2020 as he engineered a remarkable comeback across all three international formats. The turning point came in New Zealand when injury to regular opener Rohit Sharma gave Rahul an opportunity at the top. As opener in ODIs, he smashed 5 fifties in 6 innings underlining his return to form and hunger.

Between 2020-2022, KL Rahul established himself as one of India’s most dependable top-order batsmen across formats along with excelling as wicketkeeper and vice-captain. Rahul’s remarkable resurgence underlined his determination and ability to bounce back from any adversity in his career.

Batting Style and Technique

KL Rahul’s biggest strength lies in his orthodox batting technique and watertight defense. He has a textbook batting stance with minimal movement and flawless balance. Rahul possesses superb timing which allows him to play very close to the body. He is equally adept at playing pace and spin thanks to his still satta matka position.

Rahul possesses all the attributes of a world-class Test opener – solidity in defense, immense concentration, adaptability and ability to play long innings. He has honed the temperament to succeed across conditions. Rahul is also a gun fielder with presence of mind and safe catching ability even as wicketkeeper. With age and experience on his side, Rahul’s batting is only going to get more consistent and dominant in the years ahead.

Leadership Prospects

His success here led to Rahul being appointed vice-captain of India’s limited over teams. Rahul also got opportunities to lead India when Rohit Sharma was injured including the 2022 tour of South Africa. The team registered convincing victories in these matches enhancing Rahul’s leadership credentials.

With India looking at developing future leaders, Rahul with his balanced personality and on-field decision making seems a strong contender to take up major leadership duties going ahead. Many former cricketers also see the potential in him to become India’s future captain especially in shorter formats.

Conclusion

KL Rahul is among the most vital members of the Indian cricket team at present with his world-class batting abilities across formats. As per sports news cricket, Rahul has proven his technique, adaptability and temperament to succeed consistently as opener or middle order batsman alongside being a wicketkeeper option. His brilliant comeback from setbacks shows Rahul’s determination and hunger. Having earned his stripes through some stellar shows overseas, Rahul seems destined for bigger things in the years ahead. If he can maximize his rich potential as a batsman and leader, Rahul could finish as one of India’s all-time batting greats and future captain.  

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