IPL 2022: Anil Kumble contradicts KL Rahul; says never asked ‘any player to restrain’
Punjab Kings (PBKS) head coach Anil Kumble said that he never asked KL Rahul or for that matter any player to take a conservative approach in the T20 format. Rahul played for the Punjab-based franchise from 2018 to 2021 and even captained them in two seasons. While he was mostly among the leading run-scorers for his team, he had to face a lot of criticism for his slow batting.
It mostly was Mayank Agarwal, who would go after the opposition bowling attack. The Kings, who have mostly failed due to their brittle middle-order, have roped in the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow for the upcoming edition of the T20 tournament. Prior to the mega auction on February 12 and 13 in Bangalore, PBKS released Rahul.
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Anil Kumble speaks on KL Rahul’s approach
“No, I don’t think we ever wanted any player to restrain himself. In this format, I don’t think you can take a conservative approach. The natural ability of a Mayank or a Shikhar (Dhawan) is to attack. Even with the rest of the players, I don’t think there will be any approach to curb their natural instincts. That has never been my approach at all,” Kumble was quoted as saying.
PBKS is one of the very few years that are yet to get their hands on the IPL trophy. In the last few seasons, Punjab have even strained to qualify for the playoffs despite having some big names in their ranks. However, Kumble sounded optimistic about their campaign in the upcoming edition.
“It’s a fresh start for all the 10 franchises. I think the brand of cricket we wanted to play; we have put together that sort of strategy. We are very happy to be able to get those kinds of players who naturally fit into that strategy rather than force somebody into playing that kind of a role,” he added.
Rahul, in the meantime, is set to ply his trade for the Lucknow Super Giants, one of the two new teams, in IPL 2022. Team mentor Gautam Gambhir has shown a lot of faith in Rahul. The Bangalore-born Rahul has also captained India on the tour of South Africa.