After KL Rahul smashed an unbeaten 98 off 42 balls against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Thursday, Virender Sehwag stated that the PBKS captain could have played such knocks earlier in the tournament. Despite winning the match against CSK, the Punjab-based franchise did not qualify for the playoffs.
After winning the toss, the Punjab Kings (PBKS) asked the Chennai Super Kings to bat first, and the KL Rahul-led side restricted CSK to 134/6. In pursuit of a 135-run target, PBKS captain started off well for the Punjab-based franchise, and guided his team to a six-wicket win against the MS Dhoni-led side. KL Rahul scored an unbeaten 98 off 42 balls with seven boundaries and eight sixes, but his innings could not help his side to qualify for the playoffs.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag has lauded KL Rahul for his brilliant batting performance but stated that the PBKS captain could have played such knocks earlier in the tournament. He further added that the Punjab would not have lost the close games, if Rahul had finished those matches for the franchise.
“He missed his hundred but if he had played such innings on two-three occasions earlier in the tournament, Punjab Kings would have automatically qualified. Because the close games they have lost, it’s just because Rahul didn’t finish those games. Had he done this previously, PBKS not only would have made it to the knock out stages but also don’t have to think much about their net run rate. But Punjab is Punjab, they very well know how to hurt themselves,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.
Despite clinching a six-wicket victory in just 13 overs against the three-time IPL champions, Punjab Kings failed to qualify for the playoffs as they had a poor Net Run Rate (NRR) in the tournament. The former Punjab batsman and mentor added that KL Rahul had no option but to come down all guns blazing against CSK to give his team a last shot at playoffs qualification.
“Today he had no other option. KL Rahul had to play that way to better the net run rate. Had it been a game in the middle stage of the tournament, it wouldn’t have finished so fast and we might have witnessed the normal version of Rahul. Maybe he thought it as a chance to qualify for the playoffs, given the other teams lose. He tried to finish the game in 10 overs but that couldn’t happen,” Sehwag said.