KL Rahul, who will be captaining Kings XI Punjab this season, has stated that he wants to use the same approach in captaincy as MS Dhoni and Kohli. Rahul, who has also emerged as India’s first-choice wicket-keeper in white-ball cricket, said no one can ever fill Dhoni’s place in the Indian side.
Stylish Indian opener KL Rahul has been the star for Kings XI Punjab in the last two editions of the IPL. The 2020 IPL will see the 28-year-old captaining the Kings XI side besides opening and wicket-keeping for them. Rahul's stocks have been on the rise in last few months after he performed to the best of his abilities for India, be it as a middle-order batsman in ODIs or an opener in T20 internationals, all that while donning the wicket-keeping gloves.
The lanky Karnataka batsman talked about how much he has learned from Indian greats MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli and attested that he will be looking forward to using the same approach as both the celebrated Indian captains.
"Of course. They (Kohli and Dhoni) have been the most inspiring cricketers and leaders in the last 10 years at least. Having the opportunity to play under them is great learning," Rahul was quoted as saying by PTI .
"Both (Kohli and Dhoni) are completely different individuals and lead the team differently. But their passion for the team is the same, they always want to win and push the team together. I also want to use the same approach with my team and look to lead from the front. It should feel like a team, it should feel like family," the KXIP opener said.
Rahul also added that he has been influenced by Mumbai Indians skipper and Indian limited-overs vice captain, Rohit Sharma. Not only the Indians, Rahul has also picked up things from Kiwi skipper, Kane Williamson.
"We are always constantly watching the game on the field, I always keep my eyes open to learning. You learn a lot watching the likes of Rohit. Guys like Kane Wiliamson. Hopefully, it (the learnings) is all stored in the back of my head (for me to use in the tournament)," stated the KXIP skipper.
In the last few months, KL Rahul has been keeping wickets for India in limited-overs cricket and following the retirement of Dhoni, he looks all set to fill in the Jharkhand lad’s shoes. But Rahul reckons no one can fill MS' shoes and he isn't even thinking on those lines.
"Does it make me conscious? Not so far at least. My focus is solely on the IPL and getting some cricket under me. It (Dhoni's place) is a shoe or a place nobody can ever fill in Indian cricket. Whatever role is given to me, it is something I am grateful for. The challenge excites me. I am not really conscious about it, I am very clear about what my role is," asserted Rahul.
Rahul will be one of the most overworked Indian cricketers in the IPL given he opens and keeps wickets, given he’s also now the skipper. But the 28-year-old doesn't think it will hamper his game. Rahul also revealed that it's a 'huge bonus' to have Anil Kumble as the head coach of the franchise.
"I don't know if it is going to play a part or hamper anything but I am quite looking forward to the responsibility, it is something I have always enjoyed. I am going in with an open mind and will learn on the go.
“It is a huge bonus to have someone like Anil bhai (head coach) who comes with so much experience. He knows exactly what the players go through and the challenges involved," Rahul said.