Updated May 13th, 2024 at 19:26 IST

'This IPL has been exceptionally tough for KL Rahul': LSG coach Klusener reveals backroom talks

IPL 2024: LSG captain KL Rahul has coped with a lot of criticism this season due to his strike-rate in the tournament.

KL Rahul | Image:BCCI/IPL
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Lucknow Super Giants looked like a team to beat at the start of Indian Premier League 2024 but things have tapered off in the last few weeks. LSG are staring at not playing the IPL playoffs for the first time in their short history after suffering a demoralising 10-wicket defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2024. 

LSG have 6 wins from 12 matches and now needs to win both their matches to have a chance at qualification due to their inferior net run rate. A defeat by KKR on Monday would virtually knock them out of the competition. LSG captain KL Rahul has coped with a lot of criticism this season due to his strike-rate in the tournament. Opening the batting, KL Rahul has scored 460 runs but his strike-rate reads 136.09, and it has put pressure on the LSG middle-order comprising Marcus Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran.

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'This IPL has been tough for Rahul'

LSG assistant coach Lance Klusener has backed their skipper, stating that IPL 2024 has been tough for him.

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"KL has got his own unique style which has made him a fantastic player and respected around the world. I think this IPL has been exceptionally tough for him because we've kept losing wickets at stages which hasn't allowed him to kick on where he likes. He probably feels like he's always having to rebuild. I think as a batting unit around KL, we haven't been as good as we should. It's just been extremely tough conditions for him. That's something we've chatted about as well -- we've just kept losing wickets at tough times," the South African said during the pre-match press conference.

However, Klusener said a big knock from Rahul was just around the corner.

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"Then batters coming in, seem to have to be rebuilding the whole time and not just coming into a platform. So, I think by KL's standards, he probably would have liked to have kicked on in a few more games.

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"Probably (he) would have liked to have at least one or two hundreds that haven't worked out for him. But there's still a couple of games left. He's in a good space. So, we've got our fingers crossed again for him," he said.

LSG bowling unit was at the receiving end of a brutal onslaught from SRH openers Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma, who racked up a record 167 in 9.4 overs.

"By the bowling unit's high standards, they didn't execute as well as they would have liked to on that surface and then you mix in two players who played absolutely beautifully and quite often that ends in a poor result for the team that doesn't bring their best skills," Klusener said.

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"It was just a mix of some exceptionally hard batting and I don't think we executed our skills as well as we should have and you mix that together, it doesn't normally end well." LSG are currently at the seventh spot with 12 points, making the remaining two games a must-win contest to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

"I think we've been just a little bit inconsistent by our own high standards. We just need to deal with the fact of where we are now and make sure that we become consistent.

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"As a team, we want to win the IPL, we probably need to win five in a row, which I think RCB has just done five in a row.

"So that's just proved that for us it's absolutely possible, but that's just the big picture. We need to get over the line tomorrow before we can have any other aspirations." 

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(with PTI inputs)

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Published May 13th, 2024 at 19:26 IST