Anil Kumble, the head coach of IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab is confident of KL Rahul proving to be a good leader for the team in IPL 2020. Last year, it was R Ashwin who led the side, but with the off-spinner getting traded to the Delhi Capitals in December 2019, Rahul was appointed as the man to lead KXIP into the 2020 edition. With plenty of experience having played for India, Kumble feels Rahul brings to the table the qualities needed to shine as a skipper.
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“KL is very relaxed, he is very mature, I have known him for a long time. He has the experience, international experience, having played this long and of course, the last couple of years he has been a part of the Kings XI and he has been their main player. He knows the team very well’ he knows the youngsters really well. He is very excited and he is very keen. He has his hands full by being a batsman, keeper and then the captain,” Kumble said in a video posted by KXIP on their Twitter handle.
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Rahul has had a couple of brilliant seasons with the bat for KXIP. In 2018, Rahul hammered 659 runs from 14 matches at an average of 54.91 including six half-centuries, while last year, the batsman amassed 593 runs, averaging 53.90 with a century and six fifties. However, the team couldn’t quite replicate Rahul’s form and finished second from bottom in 2018 and sixth the year after.
That said, Kumble, who was appointed coach of the franchise in October last year, reckons this year, KXIP possess a good balance, which can help the team perform a lot better. “It feels really nice, it feels a bit strange to come on to the field like this and then have the entire squad, I mean not necessarily the entire squad but the set of players that are here. So it’s wonderful to be on the ground and have a hit, it’s nice to be outdoors,” Kumble said.
“We have high hopes from this season, we have a really good squad, a very balanced squad, some experienced and some youngsters. I am getting to know them now and seeing them play for the first time here, some of them in nets, so yeah just looking forward to build on the preparation and to be ready for the IPL.”