KL Rahul dedicates ‘Man of the Match’ award: The Kings XI Punjab-captain lauded the 41-year old player for showing hunger to score runs.

Kings XI Punjab captain Lokesh Rahul agrees that it is natural to be “disappointed” and “frustrated” after losing in the manner in which his team has lost matches in the ongoing 13th season of the Indian Premier League.

It is worth mentioning that Kings XI continue to be at the bottom of the points table with a couple of victories in eight matches so far. In the must-win zone now, Punjab need to win all their remaining six matches to be in contention to qualify for the playoffs.

“It’s very natural to feel disappointed and frustrated and it’s not just me, as a group we’ve been frustrated. Our skills were very good, probably didn’t capitalise in the big moments starting with the first game at Delhi [Capitals].

“It’s part of the IPL, it’s part of cricket. There are ups and downs and this has been the kind of rollercoaster that’s been crazy but on a positive note we needed this win,” Rahul said during the post-match presentation ceremony.

Rahul, who is leading an IPL franchise for the first time in his career, has been outstanding with the bat as his 448 runs in eights T20s at an average and strike rate of 74.66 and 133.33 respectively put him at the top of the highest run-scorer’s list. However, the 28-year old player refrains from reflecting on his individual performance.

“At the moment, my first time as captain, you kind of don’t reflect on your own performance. As a leader, you need to think of everybody and how to manage the 15 or the 25 balanced and hungry to do well. That’s been the challenge so personal performances haven’t been on my mind so much,” Rahul further said.

KL Rahul dedicates ‘Man of the Match’ award to Chris Gayle

After sharing a 78-run opening stand with Mayank Agarwal (45), Rahul then joined hands with veteran batsman Chris Gayle (53) as the duo scored 93 runs for the second wicket before the latter was dismissed in the last over.

An absolute legend of the T20 format, Gayle finally got a match after warming the bench in seven matches this season. Claiming not playing Gayle as a “tough call”, Rahul lauded the 41-year old player for having the hunger to score runs.

“I think, firstly, this [Man of the Match award] should go to Chris [Gayle]. He has not been feeling well but he’s always been hungry. Anyone who saw him, he was training hard like he’s probably never done.

“It was a tough call to make not to play someone like that. I won’t take credit but it’s important to keep the lion hungry sometimes. Wherever he bats, he’s still the same player and it worked today. Hopefully he can carry on,” Rahul concluded.

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