Former Indian cricketer Ajit Agarkar is of the opinion that KXIP skipper shouldn't take much burden of the team on his head and should just keep batting normally as he's naturally a stroke player. After playing a questionable knock against RR, Rahul's strike-rate against CSK was under scrutiny.
With 302 runs in five games, KL Rahul is having a consistent run in the IPL 2020 as he has made a century and two fifties and topping the run charts thus far. But both his fifties have been heavily scrutinized as he has failed to accelerate in the end and finish with a flourish after spending a considerable amount of time in the middle. After making a 54-ball-69 at a strike-rate of 127.78 against RR in a high scoring game in Sharjah, Rahul again played a slow knock on Sunday as he could manage 63 runs off 52 deliveries at 121.15.
There was a point in time when he had just 44 off 42 on what was a belter of a pitch as CSK openers showed winning the game by 10 wickets chasing 179 without breaking a sweat. Former Indian fast bowler, Ajit Agarkar has opined that Rahul needs to bat freely and play his natural game as he's a good stroke player and is going through a purple patch.
"Rahul was trying to bat till the end as middle-order hasn't done too well more often than not for KXIP. Yes, Pooran played well but that must have been his thinking. But if he goes away from his own natural game, and he's thinking too much that I am the captain, I have to take more responsibility, then it will cause many issues for Kings XI Punjab. He is a natural stroke maker and is in good form, so he just needs to keep batting normally," Agarkar opined in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.
"There are one or two games when you don't get going, hopefully that's the case with Rahul than him taking too much pressure on his shoulders. So, let's see how he bats in the next few games to help us asses his batting. He has the ability to make hundreds and just needs to keep batting like the way he does as it as it bodes well for the side," he added.
CSK bowlers did a commendable job as they restricted Punjab to 178 after it looked in all likelihood that they would reach 200 or at least, get close to it. But thanks to Dwayne Bravo and Shardul Thakur for CSK, that wasn't the case. Agarkar also heaped praise on the CSK bowlers.
"200 seemed possible for KXIP, so to stop them from doing that was great. It also shows if you can take wickets, you can always stop the flow of runs. MS Dhoni always has a set role for bowlers like for Bravo and Thakur, so they know what they need to do. Not everyday you will do well, but today was a good day for them."
After five games, CSK have won two while Kings XI Punjab have registered just a win that came against RCB, three games back.