Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar disagrees that Kings XI Punjab’s captaincy has caused the downfall of KL Rahul’s performance in the last few matches in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
KL Rahul had a thumping start of the tournament, setting the highest score ever by IPL captain after amassing 132* runs against RCB. In the next match against Rajasthan Royals, he scored 69 runs. He, however, in the following matches, he has not been seen playing freely. Many have viewed that KL Rahul is under pressure because of captaincy, which has resulted in him holding back his gears.
But Sanjay Manjrekar has advised the KXIP captain to play fearlessly because then only the franchise can move above in the points table.
“For Punjab to go up in the points table, KL Rahul must not worry about others,” Manjrekar wrote in his column for The Times of India on Saturday.
Like others, Sanjay Manjrekar was also excited to see KL Rahul’s maiden stint as the captain of the Punjab-based franchise. He was curious about how captaincy might effect ‘sensational player’ Rahul’s batting.
“One of the many points of interest for me in this tournament was KL Rahul, the captain, and the possible effects of captaincy on his batting. First thing first, Rahul is just a sensational player, who plays the modern 360-degrees like few others; and he is the only one who makes it look classical,” the cricketer cum commentator added.
Not Captaincy Weighing KL Rahul Down: Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar, however, is disappointed to see Rahul’s strike rate of 130 this season. Although the wicketkeeper-batsman said that he believes the strike rate is ‘very, very, overrated.’
“When I looked at his numbers that season (2019) the strike-rate had dropped significantly, in the 130s (135. 38). This year too his strike rate is again in the same region of 130,” Sanjay Manjrekar added.
On a concluding note, Manjrekar refused to buy the argument that captaincy was weighing Rahul down. According to him, the KXIP batsman is putting pressure on himself by expecting more.
“I don’t think it’s as much the captaincy responsibility that’s weighing him down as much as Rahul himself putting a greater prize on his wicket post-2018.
Kings XI Punjab is set to face Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday. Punjab will be desperate to win this match to bring confidence in their squad.