Former Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir has backed KL Rahul to have a good season for Punjab Kings in the second phase of the Indian Premier League.
Gambhir feels Rahul can score two or three centuries in a season and have a season as Virat Kohli did in 2016 when he scored 973 runs for RCB.
Rahul has been a consistent performer for Punjab Kings in the last couple of seasons. The flamboyant batsman had scored 670 runs in 14 matches of IPL 2020 and bagged the Orange cap award. The right-hander had amassed 593 runs in IPL 2019 and had finished as the second-highest run-getter of the edition.
The Karnataka batsman scored 331 runs in the first phase of the IPL 2021 and is placed at second place in the highest run-scorer of the season. Furthermore, Rahul has been in good form in the recent past as he scored 315 runs in four Test matches and it must have added a shot in his arm. Thus, the Punjab Kings skipper will aim to continue his good form in the T20 extravaganza.
“We haven’t seen the best of KL Rahul. Yes, he has got runs, but we still haven’t seen, what he can achieve in his batting,” Gambhir told Star Sports show Game Plan. “You could have a season like Virat Kohli had once. He’s that kind of a player in white-ball cricket, where he can get 2-3 hundreds in a season and at a very good strike rate as well,” he said.
Rahul’s strike rate can be an issue in the T20 format since he has taken the extra responsibility of the leadership for PBKS. However, the stylish batsman had a strike rate of 136.21 in the first leg of IPL 2021.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians will resume IPL 2021 as they will face Chennai Super Kings. Gambhir feels the UAE conditions will suit the defending champions.
“When you see the conditions in Chepauk or Delhi, they are completely different from what you get at Wankhede. And, as I mentioned, they are going into conditions that are suited to their fast bowling – people like Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult,” Gambhir said.
“There will be swing upfront, so they will be very dangerous. Plus, Mumbai wants balls to swing and you’ve got quality fast bowlers and it’s going to be an advantage for them. “Plus their batters, want the balls to come on to the bat as well, people like Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, all those guys struggled at Chepauk, because it was gripping and turning.”