Rahul, who is the current Orange Cap holder, has scores of 94, 71 and 100 in his last three matches against MI – a total of 265 runs in three matches. He is also one of only two batsmen, along with his opening partner Mayank Agarwal, to have hit a century in the ongoing season of the IPL.
Race for the #IPL2020 Orange Cap 🔝
KL Rahul: 222 runs
Mayank Agarwal: 221 runs
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) September 27, 2020
With the Punjab opening pair going strong, Bond hopes that his bowlers can break their partnership early on to create pressure on their middle order. He also pointed out Rahul’s tendency to slow down a tad in the middle overs, which Bond thinks will be a window of opportunity for his bowlers.
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“KL Rahul has got runs against us in the last few games as well,” he said in a pre-match press conference. “Brilliant player. We are having our bowlers meeting this afternoon in terms of the planning for our next opponent who are playing well. KL, look we know he’s a dynamic player, scores all around the field. We also know that he takes his time generally through the middle overs. It allows us to create some pressure on him and the batsmen around him.
“But we will have specific ideas about how we’re going to get him out. In the end, we just can’t allow him to score in the areas where he’s very strong, scores well over extra cover, can pick up over fine leg. You know we have got a quality bowling unit so we just have to put as much pressure on him and Mayank who have been the two key batsmen for Kings XI and played brilliantly throughout the series so far.
Highest scores by an Indian in IPL:
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) September 24, 2020
“So if we can create some pressure and get those boys out earlier and put more pressure on that middle-order early. Then hopefully, we can restrict them to a score and stop them from scoring the runs so we can get on the board. I think we are reasonably confident with our batting lineup. We have put up good runs on the board. So far in every match we have played are tough batting orders to stop plus we have played on this ground twice, so we sort of know what to expect with the conditions. So that should help us a bit.”