IPL: KKR's Rahul Tripathi excited to work with Andre Russell, Brendon McCullum and skipper Dinesh Karthik

  • Rahul Tripathi is looking forward to making an impact with the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020.
  • After one season with the Rising Pune Supergiants and two seasons with the Rajasthan Royals, Tripathi will play for KKR.
Modified 01 May 2020, 16:54 IST

Rahul Tripathi made his IPL debut for RPS in 2017
Rahul Tripathi made his IPL debut for RPS in 2017

In December 2019, Indian Premier League aficionados were gelled to their TV screens in anticipation of the massive bids at the IPL 2020 player auction and the final composition of their favourite franchises ahead of IPL 2020.

The Kolkata Knight Riders made the headlines when they signed Australian all-rounder Pat Cummins for a massive sum of ₹15.5 Crores, the costliest-ever bid for a foreign player in the IPL.

The Knight Riders also procured the services of Englishmen Eoin Morgan and Tom Banton, while also landing the final bid for notable uncapped players such as Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy among others.

With IPL 2020 scheduled to commence on March 29, the KKR academy was abuzz with local talents and the recent signings honing their skills under the watchful eyes of mentor, Abhishek Nayar.

However, the threat of the novel coronavirus brought a premature end to the training camp, and despite missing out on some quality practice time, KKR's latest signing Rahul Tripathi is excited for what is to come in IPL 2020.

"I was very excited for this season, hopefully it happens soon. I spent some quality time in the KKR academy, we were there for a month, it was a great experience. I learned a lot in the one month, KKR is like a family and I loved being a part of the team," Rahul Tripathi said in an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda.

Tripathi spoke about how KKR CEO Venky Mysore would come and gel well with players over meals and share his experiences, and the team as a whole enjoyed doing dance sessions and pilates together.

Rahul Tripathi played for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2018 and 2019
Rahul Tripathi played for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2018 and 2019

As for his experiences under new captain Dinesh Karthik, Rahul Tripathi shed light on how the wicketkeeper batsman's clear thought process is the most striking feature of his captaincy.

"I feel he has very clear thoughts. Even in the practice sessions, when we were playing a death overs scenario, he told me clearly what my role was at that time. When you know the captain has faith in you and tells you what he wants, it becomes easy. He gave me a lot of confidence," the former Rajasthan Royals batsman said.

Rahul Tripathi has already played three seasons of the IPL, having made his debut for the Rising Pune Supergiants back in IPL 2017. The right-hander plied his trade for RPS for a year, before shifting to the RR for the next two seasons.

"Excited to see how Andre Russell prepares ahead of the IPL season"

From 34 matches, Rahul Tripathi has made 758 runs at a strike rate of 137.71 but more importantly, the Pune-based batsman's ability to float around the batting order has seen him bat from positions 1 to 6.

Rahul Tripathi opened with Jos Buttler in the IPL
Rahul Tripathi opened with Jos Buttler in the IPL

Having recently slotted into the finisher's role for RR in the IPL and Maharashtra in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Rahul Tripathi is keen to pick the brains of big-hitters like Andre Russell, and KKR head coach Brendon McCullum.

"I'm excited to see how Russell prepares and how hard he hits the ball in the practice sessions. I have been a huge fan of McCullum. When he was playing for Gujarat Lions in 2017, I met him then. People have told me that I have taken a stepping down style similar to McCullum. Overall, it's very exciting for me to play at KKR," Rahul Tripathi said.

The stylish right-hander also heaped praise on first-class cricket veteran Abhishek Nayar for helping him improve certain facets of his batting style. Having played alongside Nayar for BPCL, Rahul Tripathi is chuffed to learn under the all-rounder's mentorship at KKR in the IPL.

"Abhishek Nayar supports you in what you want to do and helps you out. That has been amazing for me, it's quite exciting to work with him and understand him. He's helped me gain clarity with my thoughts. Even during the Ranji, he helped me with the red ball and it's great to learn under him," Rahul Tripathi commented.

With big names such as Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Dinesh Karthik and Russell among others set to take the field for KKR in IPL 2020, Rahul Tripathi could be expected to put on quite a few exciting partnerships in the coming season.

Published 01 May 2020, 16:18 IST
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