IPL: Why was KL Rahul named KXIP captain, what will be his role - Anil Kumble reveals
KL Rahul has been appointed captain of Kings XI Punjab and newly-appointed coach of the franchise Anil Kumble believes that this role will help the batsman improve and grow. “I felt not just from a Kings XI perspective but from KL Rahul’s individual growth as well, this is the right time for him to take up this leadership position because I feel that this role is going to help him grow as a person, grow in stature, as a leader and it’ll also help him understand his game not just in this format but also help him understand from the other formats as well,” Kumble told Cricketnext.
The former India skipper also said that Rahul has the respect of the dressing room and that, an Indian captain helps a franchise grow. “We took a decision of elevating KL Rahul because I feel that an Indian captain is essential to build a franchise around a player and for me KL Rahul determines that,” Kumble added.
“In the last two years that he has been a part of Kings XI, he has been the best performer for Kings XI and he commands the respect from the other players and he is the best player for us in this format.”
Rahul has kept wickets for Kings XI in the last couple of seasons, but as per Kumble this could change this year. They have an exciting option in Nicholas Pooran and hence, KXIP could well have a new keeper this year.
“We are still not sure whether he will be donning the gloves or is it going to be Nicolas Pooran we will decide that closer to the IPL. But having said that, the other thing that certainly helps him is a few of his teammates are around him. Whether it is Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, or K Gowtham who he has played most of his cricket at the junior level, also for Karnataka,” he said.