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IPL 2021: 3 milestones KL Rahul can reach this season

KL Rahul is one of the IPL
KL Rahul is one of the IPL's most stylistically gifted batsmen.
ANALYST
Modified 30 Apr 2021
Feature

Although his Indian Premier League (IPL) career began back in 2013 with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who he linked back with in 2016, KL Rahul has conquered the tournament since his shift to the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in 2018.

Rahul already holds a few records. His 50 off 14 balls in 2018 remains the tournament's fastest, and his stroke-filled 132 not out against RCB in 2020 is the highest score by any Indian batsman in IPL history.

After starting his career in the longest format, Rahul's career trajectory has sharply changed. His IPL form translated to the international stage. And although his Test returns have dwindled, he has booked his spot in India's T20 World Cup squad, whenever the tournament does happen. Even in the IPL, his responsibilities have risen with him being named the skipper of the PBKS franchise in 2020.

We have already seen a few important milestones in IPL 2021 - AB de Villiers reaching 5000 career IPL runs, MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik racking up 200 IPL games, the Kolkata Knight Riders recording their 100th win in IPL history and Virat Kohli reaching a mind-boggling 6000 IPL runs.

Here are three milestones that Rahul could reach in this IPL.


#3 25 IPL fifties

Since his move to PBKS, Rahul has scored a fifty nearly every second game.
Since his move to PBKS, Rahul has scored a fifty nearly every second game.

KL Rahul first made waves with his form in IPL 2016, as the third-highest run-scorer for RCB in one of the best seasons for the team in the past ten years.

After missing the 2017 edition due to an injury, Rahul was picked up by PBKS for a massive INR 11 crore in 2018 and delivered instantly, batting at a high strike rate of 158.41 and scoring 6 fifties.

Overall, Rahul has scored two centuries and 24 half-centuries in 87 IPL games, meaning he reaches the 50-mark approximately twice every seven games. In the past four years, he has 22 of those 26 fifty-plus scores, at a frequency of nearly one every two games.

So the 25th IPL half-century may not be too far away for Rahul.


#2 50 IPL catches

Rahul is on his way to a significant achievement as a fielder in the IPL.
Rahul is on his way to a significant achievement as a fielder in the IPL.

In the last five seasons, KL Rahul has played as a wicket-keeper batsman in most games due to his record at the role in domestic cricket. While the role has its own demands, it hasn't affected Rahul's form with the bat in any way.

Over time, Rahul has cemented his credentials behind the stumps, so much so that he was briefly India's wicketkeeper-batsman in limited-overs cricket when Rishabh Pant lost form.

Rahul's IPL record stands at 43 catches and 5 stumpings from 87 matches. PBKS' bowling wearing a more settled look, with the entry of Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh, and the presence of regulars Mohammad Shami and Chris Jordan. Rahul could meet the target of fifty fielding dismissals - if not fifty catches - in this season.

Also see: Most appearances in IPL


#3 3000 IPL runs

Rahul could become the 18th player to cross 3000 runs in the IPL.
Rahul could become the 18th player to cross 3000 runs in the IPL.

KL Rahul has been a run-machine in the IPL, and is currently the 18th-highest run-scorer in tournament history. What makes his feat more commendable is that out of the top 20, he is the only one to have played under a 100 games.

From 87 games, Rahul has aggregated 2887 runs at a strike rate of over 135, and given his continued role at the top this season, is primed to reach 3000 career runs this season. If he reaches the landmark within the next 7 games, he will be the 2nd fastest to score 3000 runs by number of innings in IPL history.

With PBKS in a tough spot this season, expect a fightback from the Karnataka-born cricketer as records tumble in the process.


Published 30 Apr 2021
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