Newly-appointed Kings XI Punjab head coach Anil Kumble believes that it is the right time for KL Rahul to step in as the skipper of the side. Rahul has been a prolific run-getter for the side over the past two years and Kumble believes that Rahul will thrive under some extra responsibility.
Rahul had made a fantastic start to his KXIP career with the fastest IPL fifty of just 14 balls and announced himself in style. He also scored a brilliant hundred against Mumbai Indians last season and with him being so prolific, Kumble believes that now is the time for him to take over the mantle of captaincy.
"Everyone respects KL and I felt that this was the right time for someone like him to step up and take over as a leader. I think he's mature and it has come at the right time for him. It's a great opportunity for people to look at him in a different perspective," Kumble told Cricbuzz.
The likes of Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal have been playing witH Rahul since more than a decade and most of the other players were retained and thus Rahul has the experience of playing with them, thereby making his captaincy that bit easier. He understands the players around well and knows their strengths and weaknesses, which will help him settle-in quickly as a skipper.
"With a strong support group that we have, I'm sure that experience will rub off on KL, helping him grow in a leadership position. Also, he's played two years with all the 16 players that we retained. So, he knows all of them plus all the Karnataka players have literally played all their cricket together, so that comfort is there," Kumble asserted.
According to Kumble, it was important for the players to already have that bonding of playing together and understand each other's game and that is why he targeted players in the auction who have already played alongside those that they have retained. The experience of several years of playing together in domestic competitions would be an asset as the players already know what they can expect from themselves as well as from every other individual.
"It was important that we put together a squad that gels well. I think it helps (to have players from the same region). We have four from Punjab, five from Karnataka, two from Bengal, three from West Indies and so on. I think it's all about coming together and enjoying each other's performances and embracing the challenges," stated Kumble.
"Also, a group of players from within the squad will decide as to how they're going to play the game, because at the end of the day, they're the ones who go out to perform. I can only create an environment but can't go and play for them," he concluded.
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