Former India opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar lavished praise on Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul and said that he has grown as a leader in this Indian Premier League. Despite his good show, Punjab has not fared well in the first half of the tournament – finding themselves at rock-bottom in the points table – but now they are fighting back.

Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show Cricket Live, Gavaskar said: “They have been brilliantly led by KL Rahul. KL Rahul has grown into the captaincy role, and though he didn’t score as many as he normally does, he made sure, with his field placing, with his bowling changes, even giving Chris Jordan that 19th over and then trusting Arshdeep to defend 14 in the final over is fantastic.”

“You know, they have just found the winning way! They seem to have lost that at the start of the tournament. Remember, every time they were close to winning and they went into the super over in their first-ever game and then again, after that they were losing in the final overs.

“Then, somewhere down the line, they found that key, that takes them to a win and the last few games, they have played exceptional cricket. Last match, to defend a 126 takes a lot of doing, takes a lot of self-belief and that’s what they showed,” the Indian cricket legend opined.

“Do not forget the role of Anil Kumble! Anil Kumble has been a fighter all his cricketing career, you could see when he went out with a broken jaw and bowled, and that sprit is seen in the KXIP. That is the reason why they have comeback from impossible situations and are now in the hunt for the place in the playoffs,” he said.