IPL 2021: 3 of KL Rahul's best knocks against RR

KL Rahul
KL Rahul
Modified 12 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

KL Rahul has transformed himself into a world-class T20 opener ever since he made the switch from Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to Punjab Kings (PBKS, formerly Kings XI Punjab) back in 2018.

The 28-year-old's breakthrough IPL season came with RCB in 2016, where he batted in the middle-order, scoring 397 runs and was instrumental in their run to the final. After missing IPL 2017 with injury, KL Rahul was expected to be the first name to be retained by RCB other than Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.

However, the franchise let go of the star Indian batsman and that is a decision they will surely be regretting to date. KL Rahul has turned into an absolute beast for PBKS. In just 3 seasons, he has scored an unbelievable 1922 runs including 17 fifties and two hundreds. Rahul also won the Orange Cap last year.

KL Rahul's 3 best knocks against RR

Although KL Rahul has been prolific against all opposition, it is against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) that he seems to enjoy batting a lot. With Rahul and his men opening their IPL 2021 campaign against RR on Monday, let's take a look at the PBKS skipper's three best innings against the opposition.

#3 69(54) - [Match 9 of IPL 2020, PBKS vs RR]

KL Rahul played a sublime knock of 69 and set up a daunting target for RR
KL Rahul played a sublime knock of 69 and set up a daunting target for RR

The 9th game of the IPL 2020 season saw PBKS take on RR at the Sharjah Cricket Ground in the UAE. With small boundaries, a runfest was on the cards and that is exactly the way things panned out for both teams.

PBKS batted first and it was KL Rahul along with Mayank Agarwal who started tormenting the RR bowlers. The duo didn't let any of the bowlers settle and most of the poor deliveries were deposited into the stands.

Agarwal brought up a sensational hundred and added a crucial 183 runs with Rahul for the first wicket. Although he deserved all the accolades for his ton, it was the PBKS skipper who played the anchor's role to perfection. Rahul's underrated knock of 69 allowed Agarwal to play freely.

PBKS posted a mammoth 223-2 on the board in their 20 overs. Remarkably, RR chased it down with four balls to spare, thanks to a sensational 85 from Sanju Samson and a heroic cameo from Rahul Tewatia. This remains one of the most entertaining games in IPL history.

#2 84*(54) - [Match 38 of IPL 2018, PBKS vs RR]

KL Rahul
KL Rahul's fantastic 84* guided PBKS to a comfortable win

KL Rahul was in ominous form in the IPL 2018 season and was effective in both the games he played against RR that year. The two sides met for the first time that season in Match 38 and RR batted first.

Thanks to a half-century from Jos Buttler and a late cameo from Shreyas Gopal, RR put a fighting total of 152 on the board. With the kind of bowlers in their ranks, RR would have fancied themselves taking the game deep, especially as the wicket was two-paced and strokemaking wasn't easy.

However, KL Rahul was having no issues whatsoever in playing his shots. He took his time to get a fair reading of the pitch. But once he was in, there was no stopping him. Accelerating at the right time, Rahul scored his last 42 runs off just 15 balls.

Although RR were chipping away with some wickets, Rahul's responsible knock ensured PBKS chased down the target comfortably. The PBKS opener remained unbeaten on 85 as they thumped RR by six wickets.

#1 90*(75) - [Match 40 of IPL 2018, RR vs PBKS]

Although PBKS lost the game, KL Rahul scored a valiant 90* on a difficult pitch to bat
Although PBKS lost the game, KL Rahul scored a valiant 90* on a difficult pitch to bat

This KL Rahul knock came in a losing cause and wasn't among his most fluent innings. But the game situation and the condition of the pitch is what makes this innings one of his best against RR.

Ajinkya Rahane's men batted first and apart from Buttler, no one really stood out. The Englishman smashed 82 runs at the top of the order and ensured RR reached a competitive total of 158-8. Although the score looked below par, the pitch only got difficult for batting with time.

All the PBKS batsmen except KL Rahul struggled to find their timing. Wickets were continuously falling from one end. However, Rahul looked determined to take his team home. He kept the scoreboard ticking and ensured that the loose balls were deposited to the boundary.

Despite scoring 66.4% of his team's runs in the game, KL Rahul couldn't take PBKS across the finish line. They fell short by 15 runs but Rahul was hailed for his commendable effort.

Published 12 Apr 2021
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