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Everyone will see an aggressive KL Rahul in IPL 2021, claims Punjab Kings batting coach Wasim Jaffer

New Delhi, April 1: Former India cricketer and batting coach of Punjab Kings, Wasim Jaffer, has defended skipper KL Rahul whose strike rate was criticised during the IPL 2020 and assured that the India cricketer will be more aggressive in IPL 2021, starting April 9.

With 670 runs in 14 games, Rahul was the leading run-scorer in the IPL 2020 which was held in the UAE. However, his moderate strike rate of 129.35 was a subject of debate after Kings XI Punjab (now rechristened Punjab Kings) lost a few matches closely, preventing them from making it to the play-offs.

However, Jaffer has defended the Karnataka batsman's batting approach in the domestic T20 tournament last year and stressed the stylish batsman will be scoring at a higher rate in this edition.

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In an interaction with The Times of India, Jaffer explained the reason behind the 28-year-old cricketer's not so impressive strike rate in IPL 2020, and said, "KL batted a little timidly last season. He probably batted deeper because there was not much batting after No. 5, and Glenn Maxwell was not firing. He took that responsibility on himself to try and stay at the crease and get the job done. This time around, everyone will see an aggressive KL Rahul for sure."

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Talking about Rahul's recent arrival in the form in the ODI series against England following a poor show in the T20Is, Jaffer said, "It can happen to any player. The more games he played, the better he became. Yes, he had a poor T20 series, but it did not make him a bad batsman. He has scored centuries in all three formats and knows his game better than anyone else. In the ODIs, he showed why he is such a special player."

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When asked about his team's consistency and prospects of making it to the playoffs, the domestic stalwart said, "This is a much more balanced side than last year. We lacked bowlers who can back Mohammed Shami. In Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith, we have got two pacers who can bowl quick."

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Story first published: Thursday, April 1, 2021, 17:33 [IST]
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