IPL – Rahul hands over LSG captaincy to Pooran for game against Punjab Kings

KL Rahul has handed over the Lucknow Super Giants’ (LSG) captaincy to Nicholas Pooran for their second game of IPL 2024 against Punjab Kings in Lucknow on Saturday. Rahul, however, was part of the playing XI as an Impact Player.

Pooran said at the toss that the team management wanted Rahul to ease back into action because he was returning from an injury. He missed the last four Tests of the home series against England before the IPL because of a quadriceps injury; he had missed several matches of IPL 2023 after hurting his quadriceps during a game and underwent surgery for the injury.

With LSG choosing to bat first against Kings in Lucknow, Rahul opened the innings with Quinton de Kock and whacked a six and four off Arshdeep Singh, before steering the same bowler to backward point for a nine-ball 15. Rahul was later subbed off for fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq in the last over of the first innings. LSG reached a strong 199 for 8 with Quinton de Kock, Nicholas Pooran and Krunal Pandya among the runs.

Rahul had kept wickets for LSG in their season opener against Rajasthan Royals and one of de Kock or Pooran is expected to keep wickets against Kings. He had top-scored with 58 off 44 balls in that game, a fixture they lost by 20 runs. Rahul’s innings came under scrutiny for his strike-rate of 131.81 in a chase of 194 but the LSG coach Justin Langer had come out in his defence.

“I am not gonna lose one second’s sleep over KL Rahul. He is a beautiful player. he’s an outstanding player,” Langer had said. “There’s a reason he’s had so much success for India and I’m blessed to have him in our team, not only as an opening batsman or a batsman and wicketkeeper, but also as that captain. He is so calm. He’s a wonderful person. People talk to me about those things, but I’m not losing a second’s sleep over KL Rahul. I feel blessed to have him in our team. He’s that good a player.”

The article was updated after Rahul was subbed off in the last over the first innings

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