Kolkata, May 26: KL Rahul had a massive responsibility on his shoulders in the IPL 2022 Eliminator against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday (25), to lead a huge chase as the captain of the side.
The Lucknow Super Giants whom Rahul was leading needed to score 208 runs to beat RCB and enter the IPL 2022 Qualifier 2 against the Rajasthan Royals.
It was clear that the openers Rahul and Quinton de Kock will have to give the LSG a big beginning for them to hunt that target down. After all the two batsmen had stitched together a massive 200+ stand recently.
Rahul had also made two hundreds in the IPL 2022 and he has been placed just behind Jos Buttler as the leading run-getter in the IPL 15. But all those hopes were soon dashed.
However, De Kock departed early for 6 with the LSG scoreboard reading just 8 in the very first over itself.
The onus was on Rahul to lead the chase but the batsman seemed to have been playing too cautiously even at the Power Play. He was batting on 26 off 17 balls in the after the 6 Power Play overs.
It was not too bad to be precise, but he did not seem to be building the tempo after that. Rahul, a batsman who has almost all the shots in the cricket manual, seemed to be worried about him staying in the crease for longer time than going for quick runs.
In contrast, Rajat Patidar of RCB made 112 run of 54 ball with 12 fours and 7 sixes, a grand effort even while admitting to the fact that he did not have the scoreboard pressure on him.
But Rahul a more experienced batsman played out 58 balls for 79 runs with 3 fours and 5 sixes on a pitch that stayed true for most part of the RCB vs LSG match.
By the time, Rahul got out for 79 in the 18.4 over, LSG needed to score 28 runs from 8 balls to win the match, a tough task even considering the fact that they had two big hitters in Evin Lewis and Dushmantha Chameera were at the crease.
Rahul explained the defeat in the post-match presentation in Star Sports.
“It's quite obvious the reasons why we didn't win the game. We let ourselves down in the field. The difference between the teams what Patidar's knock. When a player from the top ends up playing a good knock, the team ends up winning.
“It's a new franchise. We have made a lot of mistakes but you've got to learn from it and come back stronger. We are a young team, the group of under 25, has done well in patches. Mohsin Khan has showed everybody how good he is and what skill he possesses.
“It's his first season and is important to take confidence from this and go home and work harder. He'll clock up more speeds and deliver better next year,” he signed off.
The Lucknow will be eager to see better performance not only from him but from the whole team to go even further in the IPL.