IPL MONEYBALL: ‘King’ Lokesh Rahul’s impact beyond the boundaries

Lokesh rahul - Kings XI Punjab - IPL 2018 - InsideSport
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‘King’ Lokesh Rahul has emerged as the King of the Indian Premier League Kings – the Kings XI Punjab.

The Kings XI Punjab table at the IPL Auction for 2018 has hogged the maximum limelight. The franchisee, bidding aggressively, has a ₹74.15 crore commitment towards players’ salaries for season. Almost a 40% raise over ₹53.9 crore, the team had committed towards salary bill last season.

The team’s biggest buy KL Rahul has emerged the best performer for the league. Almost single-handedly keeping the Kings XI Punjab in the race for the knock out playoffs. The ‘King’ of the Kings XI Punjab, Rahul has moved from his native State franchisee Royal Challengers Bangalore to Punjab with an 1,100% salary hike – from ₹1 crore to ₹11 crore. The highest for the season.

The big investment has proved to be the biggest gain of the season across all teams. The Karnataka boy is atop the IPL Moneyball performance and the IPL 2018 run-getters’ list. With an unbeaten 95* in Kings’ struggle against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday, ‘King’ Lokesh Rahul has emerged as the top IPL run aggregator this season – 471 runs from 10 matches. With an impressive average of 58.87 and 156.47 strike rate, he is driving home Kings XI Punjab’s cause from the front.

With a 14-ball 51 (4 fours and 6 sixes) he has also created the record for tournament’s fastest 50.

 

The KXIP wicketkeeper-batsman has also been as impressive in his role behind the stump, as he has been performing in front of the timber. The overall outstanding show earns ‘King’ Rahul the No. 1 IMPACT POINTS TABLE in the IPL Moneyball rankings. Backing up his 471 runs with six catches, one stumping and a run-out, Rahul has accumulated 495 IMPACT POINTS (a point for each run scored, ten points for a wicket and three points for each stumping, catch or run out).

The 42nd value for money ranking on the IPL Moneyball places him at the top among the stars with ₹10 crore or more salary for the season. Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya comes next in the 77th position.

Kings XI Punjab’s man with a Midas Touch is creating ripples not just across the boundary ropes, but also beyond the national boundaries. Following his unbeaten 95 on Tuesday, the stylish opener got a special message from the Pakistani TV anchor Zainab Abbas.

Zainab, following Rahul’s innings, kept sharing her emotions on Twitter.

Rahul had also scored an unbeaten 84 off just 54 runs at Indore on Sunday to script the win for the KXIP against Ajinkya Rahane-led Rajasthan Royal. His IPL record 14-ball half century against Delhi Daredevils has been the perfect icing on the cake so far.


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