KL Rahul’s knock vs Rajasthan Royals his best in IPL: Kings XI teammate Marcus Stoinis
Marcus Stoinis was all praise for KL Rahul, who smartly switched gears in his unbeaten 54-ball 84 to guide Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to a six-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Sunday. (KXIP vs RR highlights)
“The wicket was a bit tough. I think (KL) Rahul was amazing,” said Stoinis at the post-match conference. (KXIP vs RR scorecard)
“This was his best innings. He understood the situation and batted accordingly. Indeed, a very smart innings from him.” (IPL points table)
After Chris Gayle (8) and Mayank Agarwal (2) fell in quick succession, Rahul put on a fifty-run partnership with Karun Nair (31) before the KXIP No. 4 fell to pacer Anureet Singh in the 11th over.
Axar Patel (4), batting at No.5, too didn’t last long as he lofted a K Gowtham delivery straight to D’Arcy Shot at deep mid-wicket.
But Rahul and Stoinis went about their business calmly and helped KXIP snap their two-match losing streak.
At one point, Rahul was 48 off 43 balls, with KXIP requiring 43 off 24 balls. He then hit five boundaries in his next 11 balls to dash RR’s hopes for a win.
Stoinis supported Rahul as the Australian remained unbeaten on 23 off 16 deliveries, with two boundaries and a six.
Asked what discussion he had with Rahul when he came out to bat, Stoinis said: “I wanted to make sure I was calm enough to take some balls. Even he (Rahul) motivated me to do the same. The plan was to hit straight (to the spinners). That’s my strength. Rahul and I were confident that if we stay till the end, we will win.”
Asked the reason behind Axar’s promotion in the batting order, he explained: “He enjoys responsibility and plays well under pressure. The plan was to give him a chance. And then Manoj (Tiwary) is an experienced player. So we knew if the plan doesn’t work, we have someone at no 7 who has played a lot of cricket.”