IPL 2021: KL Rahul one of the best emerging captains, he makes friends easily - Punjab Kings CEO Satish Menon

1 month ago 7

Punjab Kings CEO Satish Menon on Wednesday said the franchise was quite confident that KL Rahul would make it big at the highest level when they successfully bid for him at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 auction. Speaking to Sports Today in the lead up to IPL 2021, Menon said KL Rahul is evolving into one of the best captains, adding that he is not surprised at all by the skipper's understanding of the game.

KL Rahul will be leading Punjab Kings for the 2nd time as he gears up for IPL 2021, starting April 9 in Chennai. Punjab Kings, who have rebranded themselves for the new season, will open their campaign against Rajasthan Royals on April 12 in Mumbai. Satish Menon believes that Rahul has it in him to do well, having had the experience of playing under some of the best India captains in the recent past.

"I think he is one of the best emerging captains that you'll see in recent times, in terms of his understanding of the game. I have always believed wicket keepers have the best view of what is going on and understand the game well. This is something that Viru (Sehwag) told me," Satish Menon said.

"He has been training under some of the best captains the country has seen in recent times. He is a great learner. I have seen him when he was in the first year, still finding his feet. No one would have believed that RCB would let go of him, we picked him up with a sure-shot foresight that this guy is going to make it big," Menon added.

'He doesn't like to be called Rahul bhaiya'

Meanwhile, Satish Menon also highlighted that KL Rahul is easy-going and this approach helps him put his teammates at ease. He also said Rahul shares a great camaraderie with his teammates, especially with the younger ones with whom he is always open to listening and understanding.

Rahul took over as the captain of the side last year and endured a poor start as Punjab Kings were reeling at the halfway mark. However, the former finalists won 5 out of their last 7 matches only to miss out on the play-offs spot by a margin of 2 points.

"The other thing I saw in the two years he was not a captain is that he makes friends very fast. He is a very easy-going guy. He is one with all. He is also closer to their age, we have a lot of kids below 25, he talks the language that they understand. They all look up to him.

"I remember in one of the videos where he said 'I am a little shocked if some people call me Rahul 'bhaiya' or Rahul sir'. He said he doesn't like it. I like that because that's also my style. Despite my age, I tell people to call me by my first name. That brings a sense of saying 'I am open to listening and understanding you'.

"Rahul's adopting an approach in carrying people with him. He is superb, he has blossomed into a great leader," Menon added.