IPL 2020: K. L. Rahul first choice 'keeper in Kings XI, says Kumble

KXIP head coach Anil Kumble backed K. L. Rahul to keep well in the IPL, while he was also impressed with India pacer Mohammed Shami at the nets in Dubai.

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Kings XI Punjab coach Anil Kumble feels his equation with captain K. L. Rahul over the years will help with decision-making during IPL 2020.   -  RAJEEV BHATT

If a player is keeping wickets for 50-over games at a stretch, he ought to sight the ball better while batting. And K. L. Rahul is exactly doing that. Today, he is the first choice 'keeper for Team India in limited-overs and Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League 2020.

It will also be Rahul’s first IPL season as captain.

“I think K. L. will obviously take up 'keeping and then, we will take it from there,” former India captain and Kings XI head coach Anil Kumble told Sportstar on Tuesday.

READ | IPL 2020: CSK likely to start training in Dubai from September 4

West Indies international Nicholas Pooran — who scored a 45-ball 100 in the Caribbean Premier League on Sunday — is the second 'keeper in the side.

Kumble also feels his equation with Rahul over the years will help in decision-making. “It was very important to choose the captain [for the season]. I have known K. L., seen him as a young kid growing up in Bengaluru, and as a cricketer. It’s his first season as skipper but he knows the team better than me. He has played here for two seasons. I think we have all the ingredients to build a solid team,” he said.

Rahul had kept wickets for Karnataka in the past but it was perhaps Kings XI that tuned him up as a smooth operator. The franchise had not picked a specialist 'keeper in 2018 and the gloves were handed over to the explosive batsman instead.

Shami impressive at nets

India speedster Mohammed Shami will lead the Kings XI pace attack in the IPL. Kumble was impressed with the right-armer’s net sessions in Dubai.

“Shami is the experienced guy here. He has been brilliant over the last five or six days. He will be able to pass on his thoughts to the youngsters. I am looking at him not just for his skills, but also for his thoughts and information,” he said.

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