December 11, 2023

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

KL Rahul a captain in the making, says Ness Wadia

New Delhi, Ness Wadia, co-owner of Kings XI Punjab, has heaped praise on team’s skipper KL Rahul, saying he a very versatile player and a captain in the making.

Rahul has been in incredible form in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). He has so far scored 222 runs in three matches, including one hundred and a half century for Kings XI and sits at the top of the charts in the list of leading run scorers.

“As one can recollect we went very strong for KL Rahul in the auctions. Show me a more versatile player in Indian cricket at the moment. He can open, he can go down to number four and he can go down to number six,” said Wadia while speaking on Amstrad InsideSport Face 2 Face cricket series.

“He is a captain in the making as he said recently “I have watched Virat (Kohli), thinking like a captain.” And when you’re a wicket-keeper, you automatically think a lot, so it’s going to be amazing,” he added.

Wadia further said that it was great for the squad to have Anil Kumble as the head coach. “I think we’ve got an exceedingly well-balanced team with an exceedingly well-balanced director and coach in Anil Kumble. His experience, his respect, his wisdom just stands out,” Wadia said.

“He is a phenomenal bowler, phenomenal leader and a nice person. He is humble, simple, to the point and very professional,” he added.

The Kings XI co-owner further revealed that a lot of skeptics had thought that IPL 2020 would never take place amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I was not one of them, I knew all along that it would happen. I had full faith in the BCCI and the IPL that it would happen. I think there were a lot of two and fro with the International Cricket Council (ICC) as well,” he said.

He also voiced his opinion on the IPL being held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) giving an analogy. “In every business, you have a good year and a bad year and ups and downs. And I think this is one of those years where one has to look at the glass half full.”

With the new normal in place and restrictions at the stadiums, the owners are having a new experience being at the ground to which Wadia said, “It’s a different experience and quite intriguing when you are in a stadium and there are no fans around. It just means we have to shout more and cheer more.”

“We have to adapt and adjust and that is what we are doing. It might be pretty peaceful actually from an owner’s perspective because for a lot of owners, when you go to your home grounds, you have so many fans asking you things, wanting things and it might be pretty peaceful from our perspective, also. You have a more relaxed time and you get to enjoy the game and focus more. Here you have a restriction of eight people, so it is a different experience. I wouldn’t say its better but it’s unique and more peaceful for sure.”

Kings XI have won one game out of the three they have played so far in the tournament. In their next encounter, they will face Mumbai Indians on Thursday in Abu Dhabi.

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