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'I never get the feeling that he's a leader,' says Ajay Jadeja on KL Rahul's captaincy in IPL

New Delhi, Oct 4: Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul, after his team's defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the reverse fixture of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, claimed he would have been happier had his team qualified for the playoffs instead of him wearing the Orange Cap.

Punjab Kings suffered another disappointing defeat by 6 runs against RCB and with that loss, their playoffs hopes were all but dashed. Rahul has so far been the leading run-scorer in this season and he was also the Orange Cap winner in the previous edition. However, his team's fate hasn't changed much, this time around too.

Former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja, while commenting upon Rahul's captaincy skills, said talented right-handed batsman lacks the leadership quality. Rahul has led the Mohali-based franchise in 25 matches and the team has lost 14 of those games.

While speaking with Cricbuzz, Jadeja stated Rahul's soft-spoken quality and adjustive nature will offer him longevity but that's not the quality of a leader.

"If you look at KL Rahul, he's been the captain of this team for the past two years, I never get the feeling that he's a 'leader'. Whenever this team has gone through a good phase or a bad phase, we never look at him. The team (PBKS playing XI) that's playing today, the changes that have been made, do you think KL Rahul would have made that?

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The cricketer-turned commentator further said that an Indian captain is based on the philosophy of leadership but that's not what the right-handed batsman possesses.

"Someone becomes an Indian captain based on his philosophy because he should be a leader. I have not seen that in KL Rahul so far because he's very soft-spoken and adjusts to everything. If he becomes the captain one day, then it's a certainty he'll last the longest because a guy ready to adjust can stay longer in that position," Jadeja added further.

"But there are leadership qualities where whether or not I agree with his philosophy, the Indian captain should at least have one philosophy. Because there's a huge difference between the captaincy of an IPL team and the Indian team," he added.

Jadeja highlighted that Rahul the Mysuru cricketer hasn't taken much responsibility on his shoulders as the captain of the IPL franchise despite having a calm demeanour like former India captain MS Dhoni - who has been an equally successful captain in the IPL.

"I don't know him personally and you see a different version of him too, but generally when he's on the ground, he has the calmness like MS Dhoni. There are good things too but the biggest thing is that you need to be a leader. People should be debating your decisions, 'Why is he doing this or that?'. That never happens to him, even in an IPL team, because he has not taken any responsibility upon himself, letting others run the team," Jadeja concluded.

There are experts who believe Rahul could be the future captain of the Indian national side but his credentials as IPL skipper will prove a major hurdle.

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Story first published: Monday, October 4, 2021, 17:49 [IST]
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