KL Rahul has established a name for himself as one of the best T20 batsmen in the world. He is currently ranked No. 3 in the ICC Batsmen’s ranking and has become associated with scoring consistently as an opener. In the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well, he has been in top form over the course of the last few years. In the 2020 edition held at the UAE, he walked home with the Orange Cap awarded for the most runs scored in a season.
The elegant right-handed batsman was initially picked in the IPL in 2013 by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). However, he didn’t get enough opportunities to shine and was trade to the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in 2014. The same transpired there with Rahul flattering to deceive in the few opportunities that he got. He was then traded back to RCB in 2016 before getting picked by his current team Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) where he’s the captain at present.
‘KL Rahul had a lot more to give’ – Former Assistant Coach
Former assistant coach of SRH, Simon Helmot spoke in an interview with Sportscafe recently and talked about trading KL Rahul to RCB in 2016. “We always knew KL Rahul was a talented player who had a lot more to give. But it’s all about squad balance. We had the best opening partnership in the IPL in the form of Shikhar and Warner, so while KL has been able to forge history by batting at the top, he didn’t quite get that opportunity at SRH at that particular point in time,” said Helmot.
“But I always loved KL. He was a terrific person to work with, he was always looking to improve, very flamboyant and always wanted to keep developing and improving his game. He was a very, very respectful young man,” he added.
The decision to trade Rahul to RCB in 2016 didn’t particularly affect SRH a great deal as they went on to win the title that year. However, had they retained Rahul for another year or two, they could’ve found a gem of a player for the long term who epitomizes consistency.