King's XI Punjab's opener KL Rahul heaped praise on the team's mentor, Virender Sehwag for allowing the players to freely express themselves which helped in improving their game. He has also made special note of the 'Red Bull campus cricket' competition which, he said, turned his game around.
King's XI Punjab got off to a good start in the first few games of the IPL 2018 after having won five out of their first six games but slowly lost their momentum as the season progressed. Notwithstanding the result, it was a fact worth noting that KL Rahul had a great season and contributed more than anyone else to the team's cause. And as the season ended, the Karnataka opener heaped praise on his team's mentor, Virender Sehwag, for allowing them to express their own game without any inhibitions.
"I did go up to Sehwag and spoke to him at different times. He kept his game very simple and that's his advice to all the players -- to go out, trust your gut feeling and enjoy the game with a smile on our face. That's the kind of freedom he has given to everybody, not just me, be it
"And this is the brand of cricket we want to play as a team, not always keeping in mind the result. We want to be fearless and aggressive. In a tournament like the IPL, sometimes it will work and at other times it won`t. But we have to keep going," the right-hand batsman added.
Under the influence of new skipper Ravichandran Ashwin, the team won six out of 14 games played and ended their season with 12 points that positioned them at the seventh place on the table. However, Rahul praised the captain's motivational and leadership qualities.
"Ashwin, I think, has been great. He spends a lot of time with the youngsters. He makes it clear that he expects the team to be fearless and play with instinct. He is quite proactive on the field, and has given players including me a lot of freedom to express myself on the field and give my best," the 26-year-old said.
Chris Gayle came back with a bang this season, to everyone's surprise, and made the world sit up take notice in the first few matches. Although he failed to fire with
"He is the most destructive T20 opener in the world. It is a privilege to open the batting with him and it makes my life so much easier," Rahul said.
Commenting about the Red Bull campus cricket, a university-level competition which helped him grow as a cricketer, Rahul said, "Red Bull Campus Cricket was a game changer for me. It gave me the platform to express myself and grow as a cricketer. Due to injuries I was dropped from the
"I was thrilled to have had a good tournament and then get selected for Karnataka in Ranji. I have never looked back since," he added.
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