There is absolutely no doubt that KL Rahul is arguably one of the best T20 batsmen (if not the best) going around in Indian cricket at the moment. And in match number six of this IPL 2020, against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), he exactly showed why. Be it international cricket, domestic cricket or the IPL, Rahul has been absolutely dominant over the last three years or so.
In fact, his IPL form has just been magnificent. No player has scored more runs than Rahul’s 1405 runs since the start of IPL 2018. He has 14 fifty-plus scores which is again the most in the aforementioned period. His average and strike-rate are phenomenal as well.
Rahul led from the front for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in this game. He smashed a stunning 132 not out which came off just 69 balls. His innings included 14 fours and seven sixes as he went through the gears beautifully. The KXIP skipper started off well and stroked his way to a half-century which came in 36 balls. He was finding the gaps well and scoring boundaries regularly too and kept the scoreboard moving. However, once he was dropped on the last ball of the 17th over, Rahul just shifted the momentum and turned the game on its head.
Rahul before and after Kohli dropped him the first time.
83 off 55 — SR 150.9
— Stat Doctor🩺 (@stat_doctor) September 24, 2020
Rahul was batting on 83 when RCB skipper Virat Kohli shelled a simple chance at deep mid-wicket. He was again dropped on 89 by Kohli at long-off in the 18th over. And after that, it was just carnage. Rahul just went berserk as he scored at a strike-rate of 350 after he was dropped for the first time. He went from 83 to 132 in just 14 deliveries to give KXIP a powerful finish. He took them from 132 in 16 overs to 206 in 20.
Rahul racked up his second IPL ton and second in as many seasons. It was the first ton of the 2020 season of the IPL. However, on his way to 132, Rahul broke and set numerous records. Let’s take a look at them.
Highest individual score by an Indian in the IPL
Rishabh Pant held the record for the highest individual score by an Indian in the IPL. He scaled the record in 2018 when he scored 128 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Now, Rahul owns the record with 132 not out. Overall, it is the fourth-highest score by a player in the history of the IPL. Also, Rahul’s 132 is the highest-ever by a KXIP batsman in the history of the Indian T20 league.
Highest individual score by a captain and by a wicket-keeper batsman in the IPL
Here is another highest score record. Before this game, David Warner held the record for the highest individual score (126) by a captain in the IPL. However, Rahul’s 132 is the new record. Be it an Indian or an overseas captain, Rahul holds the overall record for the highest individual score by an IPL captain. Moreover, it is the highest individual score by a wicket-keeper batsman as well. Once again, Rahul broke Pant’s record of 128 not out.
Fastest Indian to 2000 IPL runs
The first record of the day came when Rahul was batting on 2. He scaled 2000 runs in IPL cricket. This is his seventh season and it was his 69th IPL and 60th innings in the IPL. He became the fastest ever Indian to reach the 2000-run landmark (60 innings). The Karnataka lad beat the great Sachin Tendulkar’s eight-year-old record of 63 innings. However, his KXIP teammate Chris Gayle leads the overall list in being the fastest to 2000 IPL runs which is 48 innings.
Second-most runs by a single batsman in the last two overs of an IPL game
The way Rahul shifted gears and went berserk, it was simply magnificent. He was motoring along in third gear and in no time, he shifted to the fifth. In the last two overs, Rahul faced nine balls and smashed 42 runs, which is the second-most in the history of the IPL (behind Kohli’s 44 in 2016). The KXIP skipper took apart Dale Steyn and Shivam Dube as he hit three fours and five sixes in those nine deliveries (the other one ball was a dot).
Most runs in last 2 overs of an IPL inns:
— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) September 24, 2020
Fifth batsman overall and third Indian to outscore the entire opposition in an IPL game
There are very rare instances where a batsman outscores the entire opposition team in a cricket match. And it’s even rare in T20 cricket. However, when Rahul scored 132 not out and RCB stumbled their way to 109 all out, Rahul became the fifth batsman overall and just the third Indian in the IPL to outscore the opposition team.
Brendon McCullum was the first when he scored 158 which happened in the first-ever. Rahul Dravid was the first Indian when he scored 66 and Rajasthan Royals (RR) were all out for 58 in 2009. Chris Gayle’s 175 in 2013 is another instance. AB de Villiers (129) and Virat Kohli (109) did it in the same game when Gujarat Lions were all out for 104 in 2016. Now, Rahul enters that elusive list as well.
Most hundreds by an Indian (designated) wicket-keeper in the IPL
Wicket-keepers scoring a hundred in an IPL game has been rare. Before this game, there have been only seven instances of a wicket-keeper batsman scoring an IPL hundred. And out of those Adam Gilchrist has scored two. However, Rahul has entered that list. He became the second overall and the first Indian wicket-keeper batsman to score two IPL hundreds. In fact, he is the only wicket-keeper batsman to score two unbeaten hundreds.
Joint second-most hundreds by an Indian in the IPL
Before this game, there were as many as 12 batsmen who had scored two or more hundreds in the IPL. Rahul became the 13th. However, barring Virat Kohli no other Indian batsman has more than two hundreds. Hence, Rahul joins the likes of Virender Sehwag, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson and Murali Vijay to hold the joint record for second-most IPL hundreds by an Indian in the IPL.
Second KXIP batsman to score two hundreds and the second KXIP captain to score an IPL hundred
Including the 132 not out Rahul scored in this game, there have been 12 instances of KXIP batsmen scoring a hundred in the IPL. However, Rahul became only the second batsman and the first Indian batsman to score two hundreds for them. The first was Hashim Amla who scored both his hundreds in the 2017 season. But Rahul became the second KXIP captain after Adam Gilchrist to smash an IPL hundred. 132 was also the highest ever for a Punjab batsman in the history of the IPL.
Second Indian to hit an IPL hundred outside India and first Indian to hit a T20 hundred in the UAE
The IPL has moved out of India twice before 2020 – once in 2009 to South Africa and the other to UAE partly in 2014. And those games have seen only two IPL hundreds, both of which came in 2009. The first one was AB de Villiers in Durban in 2009 while the second came in Centurion in the same year and it was Manish Pandey who entered the record books. Rahul became the third overall and second Indian to hit an IPL ton outside India. However, his 132 is the first T20 hundred by an Indian in the UAE and the highest score by a batsman in the IPL outside India.
First Indian to hit four T20 hundreds in four different countries
KL Rahul became the first Indian to score a T20 hundred in four different countries. His first T20 ton came in an international T20 game in the USA which was against West Indies in 2016. The second was also in an international T20 game in England. Last year, he scored his maiden IPL ton in India and now, his second IPL ton in the UAE. Four hundreds in four different countries (and venues).