“For years, I’ve been branded a Test cricketer. It’s good for me to be up there, creating history and breaking records. Hope to continue this way.”
– Man of the Match KL Rahul on changing perceptions after slamming a 14-ball fifty
It seems almost ludicrous now that KL Rahul was once thought of as just a Test cricketer. Because he has since proven, he can be so much more.
But for every story, there is a beginning and some might reckon that Rahul’s moment of change was the mad knock against the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals).
Batting first, DD put on a decent 166/7 in their 20 overs. Decent because on most days that kind of total will give any team a fighting chance and that would be most days because on April 7, 2018, Rahul decided to come to the party in a hurry.
He started off sedately enough against Trent Boult – 0,2,0 but then a top-edged six off the fourth ball seemed to trigger something. The fourth and fifth balls were then hit for fours.
The second over saw Mohammed Shami being brought into the attack. It made no difference to Rahul though. He got strike on the third delivery, smoked it over fine leg for six and then followed it up with a four and a single.
But the real madness was yet to follow. DD turned to the experienced Amit Mishra to stem the flow of runs. He just made it worse. The first five balls of the over were carted for 24 runs – 4, 6, 6, 4, 4.
It was the fastest fifty in IPL history and it is a record that still stands.
Fastest IPL fifties
|1||KL Rahul||DC||08 April 2018||14||4||6||51|
|2||Yusuf Pathan||SRH||24 May 2014||15||7||5||72|
|3||Sunil Narine||RCB||07 May 2017||15||4||6||54|
|4||Suresh Raina||KXIP||30 May 2014||16||6||12||87|
|5||Chris Gayle||PWI||23 April 2013||17||17||13||175|
The knock, in essense, seemed to really set Rahul free and he went on to have his best IPL season. He just seemed like a different player after this.
Not only did he put on the big runs (659) but he also got them at a great strike-rate (158.41). In the process, he signalled to the India selectors that he was clearly a batsman capable of playing more than just Test cricket.
KL Rahul's IPL numbers
Watch KL Rahul’s incredible knock below: