Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

IPL 2018: Here is why KL Rahul swapped jersey with Hardik Pandya

IPL 2018: Here is why KL Rahul swapped jersey with Hardik Pandya

After the completion of 50th match of 2018 edition of Indian Premier League between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab at Wankhede Stadium, two players from both the sides performed football like jersey exchange ritual.

It's not too often that the highest run-scorer during the league phase of the IPL does not get a chance to add to his tally in the playoffs, but Kings XI Punjab's over-reliance on the India batter could just lead to that. "I felt it would be nice to collect some jerseys and bring that tradition in cricket", Rahul told IPL's official website Wednesday. He and KL Rahul are the reasons why KXIP is where they are. Suryakumar Yadav started well for MI today.

Kings XI Punjab: IN: Yuvraj Singh, Manoj Tiwary. In comparison, Chris Gayle's 368 runs is nearly 300 runs behind Rahul's tally, with right-hander accumulating 652 runs from 13 attempts and snatching the Orange Cap from Delhi's Risabh Pant.

Tye raised his IPL-leading wickets tally to 24, becoming the first bowler in the competition's history to snare three four-wicket hauls in one season.

On MI's spectacular comeback into the reckoning after a poor beginning in the first half of the tournament, Bumrah said they were closing out games which they had failed to do earlier in the season. While Mumbai are in sixth position with five wins from 12 games, a stuttering KXIP have slumped to the fifth spot with 12 points having suffered their fourth defeat yesterday in five games.

And with Rohit Sharma returning to the pavilion for six, MI were floundering on 71 for four.

Kiron Pollard's 22-ball fifty and a breezy cameo from Krunal Pandya helped MI rack up a substantial score of 186 on the board. "As good as our bowling attack is, we have not been putting up complete performance as a team with both bat and ball and that sums up why we have not won games lately", he said. Now Pollard had a season disappointing enough to be left out for four successive games. In his own words, his plan was: to have clear plans, back himself, and leave as many runs as possible for Mitchell McClenaghan to defend in the 20th over.

KL Rahul, who has become the epitome of consistency in this year's IPL, also fell to a slower delivery from Bumrah as he missed a well deserved half century. Sure, Mumbai were finding runs comfortably, but it was their shot selection which proved to be their undoing. And against Rajasthan Royals, they conceded another 43 runs in the last three overs. Punjab can only just cross their fingers, win their next match and hope the other results go in their favor as their luck is not just only in their hands.

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