The biggest cricketing carnival is just about to begin, this 29th March the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League will start with a match between two former champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
The IPL is not just any domestic T20 tournament, it is the biggest of all and every year promises great cricket, one of the teams that looks like a favorite to win the tournament is KXIP, the Kings XI Punjab have a great squad and some of the best players in the world in their ranks, and among those KL Rahul would be the most crucial for them. KL Rahul has been in terrific form as of late, as he showed in the series in New Zealand, Rahul has been in great form with the bat and has also tremendously increased his Wicket Keeping skills.
KL Rahul is ranked as the No.2 batsmen in the world in T20 cricket and that just shows how good he has been in the recent past, so the question that arises is will KL Rahul open for the Kings and also will he be the WK for the team. Well having a premier batsmen who is also a great WK for your team always gives your team an edge, one does not need to play a specialist keeper and instead can opt for an all-rounder/bowler or batsman depending on the situation.
If we look at Wicket keeping the Kings have 2 main options in Nicholas Pooran and Rahul, so depending on the overseas players available, Kings can make the decision. But the real question is will he open the innings because Mayank Agarwal and Chris gayle are also the other 2 opening options available for them.
Chris Gayle will definitely open for the Kings if he plays as the Universe boss is replaceable at the top of the order, however, the real conundrum is between Rahul and Aggarwal, and considering that Rahul has also been in a rich vein of form, it would be a tough choice.
With that said KL Rahul still seems like the best option to open the innings, as can be seen by last years IPL Points table how Rahul helped them out of tough spots in many occasions by giving them great starts, and as Mayank has been doing well in Tests and has not played a lot of T20 as of late, while KL has been astounding in T20 cricket and it would be a no brainer to open the innings with KL.
And when it comes to WK, the nod should go in favor of Rahul again as playing him, you can now plain Gayle, Maxwell, Cottrell, and Jordan as your overseas players. It seems like KL Rahul will most definitely open the innings for Punjab and will also keep wickets for them. Whatever the case may be KL Rahul is one of the most dominating players in World T20 right now, and Kings XI would be lucky to have him as a part of their squad.
With the T20 World Cup set to be played later this year, the IPL 2020 schedule shows that World Cup and the IPL are just a few months apart, It means that the IPL would be a potential proving ground for many players and a way for many great players to find their form back, KL Rahul is certainly going to be a part of the Indian World Cup squad and it would give him a lot of confidence if he opens the batting and does well for the Kings XI Punjab.