KL Rahul – Shift to Middle Order Batting For Team India

The strike rates of a few popular Indian batters in the current IPL season have created a stir. Given his subpar strike rate in IPL 2024, KL Rahul was a key absentee in the middle-order batting of Team India’s T20 World Cup squad.

Lucknow Super Giants captain Rahul had a strike rate of 128.57 after four IPL 2024 innings. The selectors would have also taken notice of players like Shivam Dube (160.86), Sanju Samson (150.84), and Riyan Parag (158.11), among others. They have been playing at a high strike rate thus far.

KL Rahul’s Shift to Middle Order Batting in ODI WC 2023

After the gruesome accident involving Rishabh Pant in December last year, Rahul was inducted into the ODI World Cup 2023 squad as a part-time wicketkeeper. Only on 14 occasions in his ODI career, since his debut in 2016, had Rahul kept the wickets. But Rahul was thrown into the job after Pant’s injury and has kept the wickets in 18 games this year.

After an injury in May, Rahul joined Team India in September midway through the 2023 Asia Cup. He took upon the mantle of becoming India’s first-choice wicket-keeper. He pushed the young Ishan Kishan down the pecking order and has since made the position his own.

Rahul played a match-winning knock against Australia in India’s opening ODI World Cup match. At 2 for 3, the hosts were reeling. The unbeaten 97 he scored in Chennai guided India to victory after a 165-run stand with Kohli.

Rahul hit a century against the Netherlands in Bengaluru. He then played that all-important knock of 39 off 20 balls to help Team India post a huge 397-run total in the first innings.

Rahul came late in the innings while middle order batting. He hit five boundaries and two sixes against the Kiwis. India managed to register a 70-run victory by posting a total close to 400 thanks to his knock. Had Rahul not played his role perfectly, the game could have gone to the wire.

He had the brunt of criticism entering into the ODI World Cup. It has been great displays in the tournament thus far that have had Rahul turn the frown and opinions of millions of fans and experts around.

IPL 2024: “Maybe middle-order…,” says KL Rahul on his batting position in T20 cricket

KL Rahul remained tight-lipped about his batting position in T20 cricket after Lucknow Super Giants’ 18-run win over Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

This season, Rahul opened for LSG and scored 520 runs from 14 matches. After scoring 55 against MI in an underwhelming season for Lucknow, the wicketkeeper-batter finished as the franchise’s top run-scorer.

With the T20 World Cup just around the corner, Rahul hinted that he might come for middle order batting for Team India. But he kept batting as an opener during the entire season.

After the last league match for LSG this season, KL Rahul said he learned a lot and his future role will depend on what Team India wants from him in the shortest format.

There isn’t much T20 cricket scheduled at the moment. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge this season about both my batting and what I need to accomplish to rejoin the squad. At the post-match press conference, Rahul stated, “Maybe middle-order, maybe not.

“With the way the squad is arranged, we wanted (Pooran) to bat higher. But we also want our experienced international players to bat in places where they can absorb pressure. We didn’t want to bat closely together with our two overseas batters.

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LSG bows out of IPL 2024 after a strong show against Mumbai Indians

Meanwhile, KL Rahul’s LSG, who has been playing in the IPL since 2022, missed its maiden IPL playoff appearance. They had all the bases covered. But a few injuries damaged us, Rahul said, adding that it was a very dismal season for them. 

“It’s very sad. It was a good team and most of the bases were covered going into the season, in my opinion. Every team experiences a few injuries. As a team, we weren’t cohesive enough. It was an excellent performance today. We would have liked to play this kind of game more. Regretfully, we didn’t take that action”, Rahul said.

“Truly happy for them. The franchise has put significant time and effort into working with the Indian pacers in the LSG. There are more than two months in a year. To train with Morne Morkel in South Africa, we dispatched Mayank and Yudhvir. Their efforts have paid off, but the franchise and the team have put in a lot of effort with them. I’m not sure,” he says in closing.

Despite finishing the season with 14 points, the Lucknow Super Giants couldn’t secure a playoff berth due to a low net run rate. 

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