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Here is why KL Rahul is the next big thing in Indian Cricket

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(Photo Source: BCCI/IPL/PTI)

Playing any sports and representing the country is a dream come true for any young sportsmen. Cricket is the most loved game in India and playing for Indian XI is highly appreciated.

In the past, Indian Cricket has seen great batsmen like Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid, who have played for the country and made name and fame.

They have also won national awards like Bharat Ratna (Sachin Tendulkar), Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri and Khel Ratna, and Arjuna Awards. The present heroes like Virat Kohli, Rahane, Rohit Sharma are representing India at the highest level creating an impact with the bat.

©AFP

KL Rahul from Karnataka young talented right-handed batsman is having a great time 2018 IPL playing for Punjab. On 16th May 2018 playing against Mumbai Indians at Wankedhe Stadium, Mumbai, Rahul almost won the match single handily scoring 94 off 60 balls but did not get support from any other batsmen. Kings XI Punjab lost the match by just 3 runs.

In the 2018 auction, Kings XI Punjab bought KL Rahul for a whopping INR 11 Crore. He has been in stellar form during this year’s Indian Premier League season so far with 652 runs from 13 matches with a strike rate of 160.98.

(Photo by: Vipin Pawar /SPORTZPICS/BCCI/IPL)

Known for his test credentials, KL Rahul scored the fastest half-century of IPL history in the very first match of Kings XI Punjab against Delhi Daredevils, proving everybody wrong that due to his technically sound batting, he is a material of the test arena.

In the initial stages, KL Rahul and Chris Gayle had some brilliant opening partnerships which made life easy for other batsmen to follow and the team had taken a sound lead to be one among the top four.

©BCCI/IPL

Rahul opens the innings for Kings XI Punjab and has scored 6 half centuries so far with the best score of 95* against Rajasthan Royals. He is second in the list of most of the fifties in this tournament and the leading runs scorer at the end of yesterday’s match.

He has the most fours in the tournament with 65 and also most sixes with 32. Without his efforts, Kings XI Punjab would not have had such brilliant run in the tournament.

(Photo by Vipin Pawar / IPL/ SPORTZPICS)

He made his IPL debut for Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in 2013. In 2014, he played for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Then In the 2016 edition of IPL playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore  KL Rahul scored 397 runs from 14 matches with the best score of 68* and 4 half-centuries to his name.

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The talented batsman made the first-class debut for Karnataka in 2010/11 edition. He became the first triple centurion for Karnataka scoring 337 off 448 balls in the Ranji Trophy 2014/15 season against Uttar Pradesh. In the finals against Tamil Nadu, KL Rahul scored 188 runs and helped Karnataka win the title.

KL Rahul © BCCI

KL Rahul debut test match was against Australia at Boxing Day test match in 2014 at Melbourne Cricket Ground. He might love to forget his debut as he scored 3 coming at number 6 in the first innings and then made only 1 playing at number 3 in 2nd innings.

(Photo by Deepak Malik /SPORTZPICS/BCCI)

He was not there in the playing for the first two test matches. In the fourth test match at Sydney, KL Rahul scored his maiden test century scoring 110 runs. Since then he has played 21 test matches scoring 1428 runs so far with an average of 44.64 with 4 centuries and 10 half-centuries.

©Getty Images/AFP/AP

His best score came against England in the 2016/17 tour. England visited India for a 5 test match, 3 ODI’s and 3 T20Is series. KL Rahul opened the innings in a 5th test match at Chennai where he was dismissed one short of 200. India won that match by an innings and 75 runs. He has been in and out in Indian test team due to injuries.

KL Rahul © BCCI

With his solid technique and ability to strike the ball, KL Rahul is an important member of Indian test squad in upcoming overseas tours of England and Australia. He has also been selected in the test squad for one-off test against Afghanistan.  In the tour to South Africa early this year, KL Rahul played only 2 test matches and could not contribute much.

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KL Rahul made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in June 2016 and scored a century on his debut. Since then he has played 10 ODI’s and scored 248 runs with an average of 35.43. His best score is 100*. In 2017 tour of Sri Lanka, KL Rahul was tried at different positions but did not establish to any of the roles. He was dropped from the Indian ODI squad. In the 2018 ODI tour to England, KL Rahul returned to Indian squad due to great performances in Indian Premier League season 11.

KL Rahul made his T20 debut for India against Zimbabwe in June 2016. Since then he has played 13 T20I’s and scored 476 runs with an average of 47.60. In that format too, KL Rahul scored 1 century and 3 half-centuries. In the first T20I against West Indies played at the USA, Rahul scored 110* off 51 balls, almost helped team India chase down a massive target of 246 runs. KL Rahul scored a century off 46 balls during that match.

Rahul (Pic Credits: Associated Press)

He has been selected in the T20I squad to tour Ireland and England, thus becoming one of the few players to represent the country in all formats. With his ability to strike big, play innovative strokes and put the opponent bowlers under pressure, he will be a force to reckon for the Indian team in all three formats.

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