'These are things that kill me as captain': KL Rahul reveals his biggest challenge as Punjab Kings skipper in IPL 2021

  • KL Rahul was a relieved man after Punjab Kings secured a five-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in their IPL 2021 match on Friday.
KL Rahul runs between the wicket. (IPL/Twitter)
KL Rahul runs between the wicket. (IPL/Twitter)
Updated on Oct 02, 2021 08:49 AM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

KL Rahul was a relieved man after Punjab Kings secured a five-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in their IPL 2021 match on Friday. Needing to win the contest to keep their hopes of a Playoff berth alive, PBKS did exactly that as they chased down 166 in the final over with Rahul himself leading the way with a fifth fifty of the season and a knock of 40 from Mayank Agarwal.

However, things got a little nervy for PBKS, who needed to knock off 24 runs off the last three overs. That is when young Shahrukh Khan stepped up and smashed an unbeaten 22 off nine balls including one four and two sixes.

Also Read | IPL 2021 points table, orange and purple cap list: Punjab Kings still alive; Rahul leads the way, a youngster climbs up

Known for his big hitting, this was Shahrukh's first game for PBKS since the end of the first half in May, and the young batsman from Tamil Nadu did not disappoint, playing a match-turning knock. Rahul may have been named Player of the Match, but the skipper had words of encouragement for the 26-year-old.

"Shahrukh worked really well with the batting coaches, asking a lot of questions, and developed a game where he can play at 170-180 without taking many risks. We know he can hit the ball a long way. He has done that for Tamil Nadu. Not to worry about results," Rahul said after the match.

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"Often times, we have put pressure on ourselves. Everybody knows we are a far better team. Putting pressure on ourselves is not helping. These four games in the UAE have a perfect example. It is a good learning for a young team like us."

Rahul then explained his biggest dilemma as captain of Punjab Kings. The skipper pointed out that leaving out promising Indian players is the toughest decision he has to make, but now with Chris Gayle leaving the bio-bubble to prepare for the T20 World Cup, giving domestic players more games seem to be the way forward for PBKS.

"These are things that kill me as a captain - leaving out young Indian boys. Chris has left the bubble, so we had to make a few changes to see what would be our best XI. But we go to Sharjah for next game, and we'll see," the skipper added.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021