'No one thought RCB would let him go': Punjab Kings CEO terms KL Rahul as 'one of the best emerging captains'
- IPL 2021: Despite what transpired last season, Punjab Kings CEO Satish Menon has high hopes of KL Rahul the captain, and explained how he foresaw Rahul being destined for greater things after being released by his former team RCB.
KL Rahul has been a different batsman ever since he joined Punjab Kings. After scoring 397 runs from 14 matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rahul joined the 2014 IPL finalists ahead of the 2018 season and the rest, as they say, is history. In the last three seasons, Rahul has been scoring heaps of runs for the franchise with 659 runs in 2018, 593 runs in 2019 and another 670 in the most recent edition, winning the Orange Cap in IPL 2020.
With former PBKS captain R Ashwin traded to Delhi Capitals, Rahul was appointed captain of the franchise for the 2020 season, and although there was no shortage of runs from his bat, the team finished sixth on the points table, at one stage, losing five matches in a row. However, despite what transpired last season, franchise CEO Satish Menon has high hopes of Rahul the captain, and explained how he foresaw Rahul being destined for greater things after being released by his former team RCB.
Also Read | Rahul Dravid's guide for haters to enjoy the IPL
"I think he is one of the best emerging captains that you'll see in recent times, in terms of his understanding of the game. I have always believed wicket keepers have the best view of what is going on and understand the game well. This is something that Viru (Sehwag) told me," Satish Menon told Sports Today.
"He has been training under some of the best captains the country has seen in recent times. He is a great learner. I have seen him when he was in the first year, still finding his feet. No one would have believed that RCB would let go of him, we picked him up with a sure-shot foresight that this guy is going to make it big," Menon added.
Besides being impressed by how far Rahul has come, one of his finest captaincy traits, Menon reckons, is his positive influence on youngsters and how friendly an atmosphere he creates around the rest of his teammates, while forming a comfort level with them.
"The other thing I saw in the two years he was not a captain is that he makes friends very fast. He is a very easy-going guy. He is one with all. He is also closer to their age, we have a lot of kids below 25, he talks the language that they understand. They all look up to him," Menon added.
"I remember in one of the videos where he said 'I am a little shocked if some people call me Rahul 'bhaiya' or Rahul sir'. He said he doesn't like it. I like that because that's also my style. Despite my age, I tell people to call me by my first name. That brings a sense of saying 'I am open to listening and understanding you'. Rahul's adopting an approach in carrying people with him. He is superb, he has blossomed into a great leader."