KL Rahul is an Indian cricketer who represents India national cricket team at international level and Karnataka cricket team in domestic circuit. He also leads Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Born to a professor and the former director at the National Institute of Technology, Rahul developed a keen interest in cricket from an early age. His parents spotted his desire and arranged for formal training to help him achieve his potential. At 18, he moved to Bangalore to pursue his cricket career.
Rahul started playing first-class cricket for Karnataka in the 2010-11 season. The same year he represented India in the ICC Under 19 World Cup. He started his IPL career in 2013 with Royal Challengers Bangalore. His domestic performance got him a call up for the national Test team in 2014 and two years later, in the ODI team.
KL Rahul became the first batsman from Karnataka to score a triple century in the Ranji Trophy.
He became the first Indian player to score an ODI century on debut against Zimbabwe in June 2016. A few months later Rahul recorded the then joint second-fastest T20I century in 46 balls.
It was the fastest century scored by an Indian batter at that point only for Rohit Sharma to overhaul it later.
Rahul is the only Indian player to score fifties in seven consecutive Test innings.
In 2017, Rahul became the fastest batsman to have scored centuries in all the three formats in the international cricket. He achieved this feat in just 20 innings. Rahul also holds the record of scoring the fastest ever half-century in IPL. He is also the only batsman to reach 100 with a six in all formats.
KL Rahul was awarded the Cricketer of the Year award in the sixth edition of Wisden India Almanack in 2018.
KL Rahul’s debut in first-class cricket came in the 2010-11 season. The same year he was selected to represent India in the U19 World Cup. He was dropped from the domestic team for the 2012-13 season but made a big comeback in the following season and scored 1,033 first-class runs, the second-highest of that season. In the 2014-15 Ranji Trophy, he played nine matches and cored with an average of more than 93. He also became Karnataka’s first triple-centurion as he scored 337 against Uttar Pradesh.
Also see - Jasprit Bumrah Biography
KL Rahul has played for four IPL teams since making his debut in the IPL 2013 season. He started his journey with Royal Challengers Bangalore and played just five games before moving to Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014. He appeared in the Orange jersey for a total of 20 games across two seasons before returning back to RCB in IPL 2016.
Rahul was part of RCB’s team that reached the final of IPL 2016 but lost to his former team SRH in the marquee clash. Rahul missed the 2017 IPL after sustaining a shoulder injury in the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Rahul was purchased by Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in the mega auction for INR 11 crore. After spending his longest period in IPL with PBKS, Rahul became the initial signing of Lucknow Super Giants in 2022.
Rahul is one of the explosive openers in IPL who manages to enter the top 10 scorer's list each season. Rahul won the Orange Cap in 2020. In IPL 2022, Rahul became the first Indian player to breach the 500-run mark for five straight seasons. Rahul holds the record of highest individual score by an Indian batter - 132* vs RCB in 2020 - in the tournament’s history.
Rahul made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 2016 and scored a century on debut, becoming the first Indian batsman to do so. Rahul was part of India's 2019 World Cup and was promoted to open the innings after Shikhar Dhawan was injured. Rahul scored his second and first World Cup ODI century against Sri Lanka.
Post the 2019 World Cup, Rahul was played as a wicketkeeper and slotted in to bat at No.4. He slammed a 112 against New Zealand in the third ODI. But the ton went in vain as India lost the series 0-3. Although Rahul might be a regular opener in Tests and T20Is, he is still considered a middle-order batter in ODIs.
Following his good performance in the domestic circuit, he was selected to the Indian squad for the tour to Australia in 2014. He made his Test debut in the 2014 Boxing Day Test match against Australia in Melbourne.
Rahul couldn't manage double digit score in either of his innings on debut but scored his first international century in the next Test in Sydney. Rahul scored 158 against West Indies in 2016 made him the first Indian opener to score a Test century in first innings in West Indies.
Rahul also became the second Indian batter after Mohammad Azharuddin to convert his first three fifties into hundreds.
KL Rahul made his T20I debut in the tour of Zimbabwe in 2016. The same year, he scored an unbeaten 110 off 46 balls in a T20I match against West Indies. This was the fastest by an Indian at that point and also the first by a No.4 position batter in T20Is.
Rahul opened the innings with Rohit Sharma in the 2021 T20 World Cup and Asia Cup 2022. Rahul has scored 20 fifties and a couple of hundreds.
Rahul’s father, K.N Lokesh is a professor and former director at the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka and his mother, Rajeshwari, is a History professor at Mangalore University. Rahul has a younger sister named Bhavna.
Rahul has been in a close relationship with Indian actor Athiya Shetty, the daughter of prominent actor Suniel Shetty. The pair is open about their love in public as they keep posting pictures of them on social media. KL Rahul and Athiya Shetty got married on 23rd January 2023.