KL Rahul © AFP
KL Rahul © AFP

Ahead of the Indian T20 league, KL Rahul was asked to take on an added responsibility of wicketkeeping. Rahul was selfless and went took up the dual role. Rahul not only was decent behind the stumps but also blasted his way to fastest fifty in the Indian T20 league (14 deliveries).

Rahul the Test cricketer

Let us rewind to 2014 where Rahul brought up his maiden Test fifty on his very first Test tour. The opponents were Australia. The next year, he brought up his second century and this time against Sri Lanka. The year after that he scored yet another century against West Indies. The very same year, he missed a double century by a whisker when he scored 199 against England. Three centuries have come away and one at home.

Rahul had an excellent run in Tests last year as well where he scored seven consecutive Test fifties. The Rahul rampage in Tests started from the third Test against Australia and that continued until Sri Lanka’s third Test.

What about Rahul the T20 cricketer?

Somewhere, Rahul the T20 cricketer vanished in thin air. Rahul made the most of the T20 opportunity in 2016 for Bangalore where he ended with 397 runs at 44.11 with strike rate of 146.49.

It is just the first match of Punjab and Rahul has already made a strong statement. Rahul after winning the Man of the Match (MoM), mentioned he wants to seal his authority as a T20 cricketer as well:

About his fastest fifty: “I just went in there and I just took off. I didn’t plan this innings. I was just watching the ball and getting into good positions. It’s an opener’s responsibility to get the team off to a good start. Really happy that it came off today. I was striking the ball really well, but it’s important to forget this innings and move on to the coming games.”

Shed off ‘Test cricketer’ tag: “I have been branded as a Test cricketer for 4-5 years, so it’s good for me to be up there creating history and breaking the record (for the fastest IPL fifty).”

Rahul was the most expensive buy of Punjab for INR 11 crores in Indian T20 league auctions.