Former India head coach Ravi Shastri on Thursday questioned KL Rahul’s approach in Lucknow Super Giants’ unsuccessful chase of 208 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2022 Eliminator. Rahul hit 78 but he took 59 balls and failed to finish the match for newbies Lucknow who crashed out of the tournament after their 14-run defeat at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
KL Rahul’s approach in the middle-overs during the chase against RCB left quite a few baffled. Rahul raced to a good start as he helped Lucknow post 62 in the powerplay, hitting 26 off 17 balls in the said period. However, Rahul held himself back and hit only one boundary in the next 7 overs as the asking rate was shooting up.
LSG managed just 49 runs between overs 7 and 13 and the pressure of the asking rate took a toll on them.
Hooda had to do the bulk of the big-hitting and he did so but fell for 45 off 26 in the 15th over. Rahul took on the onus of scoring quick after Hooda’s exit but the LSG captain failed to finish the game for his team.
Rahul was dismissed in the 19th over for 79 from 58 balls by Josh Hazlewood as RCB held their nerves and restricted LSG to 193/6 in 20 overs.
“They should have gone a little earlier. Sometimes, you wait too long but here, between the 9th and the 14th over, they should have been someone who should have been targeted, especially in that partnership,” Ravi Shastri told Star Sports.
“When Hooda and Rahul were going, I think even though he did as well as he did, KL could have taken a little more chances because Hooda was going. Take a little more chances and he could have targetted someone between the 9th and the 13th over because Harshal was going to come back in the end.
“If they had got the required rate down at the stage, that would have made RCB a little nervous.”
Rahul’s knock was in start contrast to Rajat Patidar’s as the RCB batter did not shy away from taking chances, smashing 112 not out in just 54 balls.
RAHUL DEFENDS LSG APPROACH
Notably, Rahul defended LSG’s approach, saying it was not easy to hit the RCB bowlers out of the par at regular intervals in the middle overs. The LSG captain lauded Harshal Patel’s efforts in the middle overs and at the death.
Harshal finished with figures of 1/25 that made the difference between the two teams. The medium-pacer gave away just 9 runs in his first spell, bowling the 10th and the 12th over and closed out the match wonderfully well at the death.
“In the middle I think Harshal’s (Patel) two in the middle I think pushed us back a little bit because he went of 7 or 8 runs. He didn’t give away much and he really changed the pace when he bowled to the field and that’s where we were pushed back a little bit,” Rahul told the press on Thursday.
“Like I said, it was just 2 hits away and if we couldn’t that in the middle overs, probably we would have won this game.”