New Delhi, October 26: Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has praised Kings XI Punjab batting mainstay and captain KL Rahul for leading his team from the front in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
Kings XI Punjab-under the leadership of Rahul has won four matches on the trot and keep themselves in the playoff race. With five wins from 11 games, KXIP are fifth in the standings and coach Anil Kumble's boys would be looking for another win when they take on Eoin Morgan's Kolkata Knight Riders today.
Rahul - who is the leading run-scorer of this edition - has been championing his team brilliantly and they are going from strength to strength. Gavaskar believes Rahul's captaincy and coach Kumble's fighting spirit has lifted the morale of the KXIP side after an initial slump.
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show Cricket Live, former India captain said, "You know, they have just found the winning way! They seem to have lost that at the start of the tournament. Remember, every time they were close to winning and they went into the super over in their first-ever game and then again, after that they were losing in the final overs. Then, somewhere down the line, they found that key, that takes them to a win and the last few games, they have played exceptional cricket.
"Last match, to defend a 126 takes a lot of doing, takes a lot of self-belief and that's what they showed. They have been brilliantly led by KL Rahul. KL Rahul has grown into the captaincy role, and though he didn't score as many as he normally does, he made sure, with his field placing, with his bowling changes, even giving Chris Jordan that 19th over and then trusting Arshdeep to defend 14 in the final over is fantastic."
Punjab defended a paltry total of 126 runs to beat David Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad by 12 runs in their last game.
Praising Kumble - who has been a fighter all along his cricketing career - the legendary opener said: "Do not forget the role of Anil Kumble! Anil Kumble has been a fighter all his cricketing career, you could see when he went out with a broken jaw and bowled, and that sprit is seen in the KXIP. That is the reason why they have comeback from impossible situations and are now in the hunt for the place in the playoffs."
KXIP will face KKR in IPL 2020's 46th match at Sharjah.