IPL 2020: ‘It allows us to create some pressure on him’, Shane Bond explains what Mumbai Indians must do to stop the KL Rahul juggernaut
IPL 2020: In the last three games against Mumbai Indians, KL Rahul has scored a combined 265 runs and the four-time champions will pull put all the stops to ensure that the Kings XI captain does not get another big one against them.Updated: Oct 01, 2020, 10:44 IST
With 222 runs from three matches, KL Rahul is currently the leading run-scorer of IPL 2020 and ahead of Kings XI Punjab’s clash against Mumbai Indians on Thursday, bowling coach of the four-time IPL champions Shane Bond touched upon the Rahul threat. In the three matches he has played so far, Rahul has put up scores of 21, 132* and 69, which means he will be right up there in MI’s radar.
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Having said that, Bond said that if MI can get one thing correct against the KXIP skipper, they might be able to stop him.
“KL Rahul has got runs against us in the last few games as well. Brilliant player. We are having our bowlers meeting this afternoon in terms of the planning for our next opponent who are playing well. KL, look we know he’s a dynamic player, scores all around the field. We also know that he takes his time generally through the middle overs. It allows us to create some pressure on him and the batsmen around him,” Bond said in a pre-match press conference.
“But we will have specific ideas about how we’re going to get him out. In the end, we just can’t allow him to score in the areas where he’s very strong, scores well over extra cover, can pick up over fine leg. You know we have got a quality bowling unit so we just have to put as much pressure on him and Mayank who have been the two key batsmen for Kings XI and played brilliantly throughout the series so far.”
What worries MI is Rahul’s impeccable form against them. In the last three KXIP-MI games, Rahul has burned up the charts scoring 265 runs at an average of 88.3. This includes scores of 94, 71 and 100. In the clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rahul shattered quite a few records, including the fastest Indian batsman to 2000 IPL runs, the highest individual score by a captain and an India player. Bond and MI are aware of the serious damage Rahul can inflict at the top of the order.
“If we can create some pressure and get those boys out earlier and put more pressure on that middle-order early. Then hopefully, we can restrict them to a score and stop them from scoring the runs so we can get on the board,” Bond said further.
“I think we are reasonably confident with our batting line-up. We have put up good runs on the board. So far in every match we have played are tough batting orders to stop plus we have played on this ground twice, so we sort of know what to expect with the conditions. So that should help us a bit.”