Rahul in 2018
|Full name||Kannur Lokesh Rahul|
|Born||18 April 1992|
Mangalore, Karnataka, India
|Role||Opening batsman, Wicket keeper|
|Test debut (cap 284)||26 December 2014 v Australia|
|Last Test||30 August 2019 v West Indies|
|ODI debut (cap 213)||11 June 2016 v Zimbabwe|
|Last ODI||2 December 2020 v Australia|
|ODI shirt no.||1|
|T20I debut (cap 63)||18 June 2016 v Zimbabwe|
|Last T20I||8 December 2020 v Australia|
|T20I shirt no.||1|
|Domestic team information|
|2013||Royal Challengers Bangalore (squad no. 11)|
|2016||Royal Challengers Bangalore (squad no. 11)|
|2018–present||Kings XI Punjab (squad no. 1)|
Source: CricInfo, 8 December 2020
Kannur Lokesh Rahul (born 18 April 1992), commonly known as KL Rahul, is an Indian international cricketer who plays for Karnataka in domestic cricket and captains Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League. He is a right-handed batsman and a wicket-keeper.
Rahul made his international debut in 2014 and scored his maiden Test century in his second Test match. He was the first Indian to score a century on One Day International debut, and the third Indian to score a century in all three formats of international cricket.
Rahul was born on 18 April 1992 to K. N. Lokesh and Rajeshwari in Mangalore; his father Lokesh is a professor and former director at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) in the city and his mother Rajeshwari is a professor at Mangalore University. Lokesh, who was a fan of the cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, wanted to name his son after Gavaskar's, but mistook Rohan Gavaskar's name as Rahul.
Rahul grew up in Mangalore, completing his high school at NITK English Medium School and pre-university at St. Aloysius College. He started cricket training at the age of 10, and, two years later, started playing matches for both Bangalore United Cricket Club and his club in Mangalore. At age 18 he moved to Bangalore to study at Jain University and pursue his cricket career.
Rahul made his first-class cricket debut for Karnataka in the 2010–11 season. In the same season he represented his country at the 2010 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, scoring a total of 143 runs in the competition. He made his debut in the Indian Premier League in 2013, for Royal Challengers Bangalore. During the 2013-14 domestic season he scored 1,033 first-class runs, the second highest scorer that season.
Playing for South Zone in the final of the 2014–15 Duleep Trophy against Central Zone, Rahul scored 185 off 233 balls in the first innings and 130 off 152 in the second. He was named the player of the match and selection to the Indian Test squad for the Australian tour followed.
Returning home after the Test series, Rahul became Karnataka's first triple-centurion, scoring 337 against Uttar Pradesh. He went on to score 188 in the 2014–15 Ranji Trophy final against Tamil Nadu and finished the season with an average of 93.11 in the nine matches he played.
Rahul made his Test debut in the 2014 Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He replaced Rohit Sharma and was presented with his Test cap by MS Dhoni. He batted at number six and made three runs in the first innings; in the second innings, he played at number 3 and made only 1 run but retained his place for the next Test at Sydney where he opened the innings with Murali Vijay and made 110 runs, his maiden international hundred.
He was part of the 15-man squad for the Indian tour of Bangladesh in June 2015 but withdrew due to Dengue fever. He returned to the side for the first Test of the Sri Lankan tour after Murali Vijay was ruled out due to injury, scoring his second Test century and being named player of the match. During the match he kept wicket after Wriddhiman Saha was injured.
He was named in the squad to tour Zimbabwe in 2016 and made his One Day International (ODI) debut against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club, scoring a century on debut - the first Indian cricketer to do so on debut. He made his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut later in the same tour.
He was picked in the Indian squad for the four-test tour against West Indies in 2016. Rahul played in the second Test at Jamaica and scored a strokeful 158, his highest Test score then. In the process, he became the first Indian opener to score a century in his debut Test in the West Indies. In the first match of the T20I series in the United States, he scored a century off 46 balls in a losing cause, the second-fastest ever and fastest by an Indian. He also set the world record for being the only player to score hundred in first innings as opener in both Tests and ODIs.
Lokesh Rahul set the record for the fastest batsman to have scored centuries in all three formats in just 20 innings surpassing the record of Ahmed Shehzad who took 76 innings. He is the first player in T20I history to score a century (110*) while batting at number 4 position or lower. On 3 July 2018, Rahul smashed his second T20 International ton against England. He is also the first Indian batsman to be dismissed hit-wicket in T20Is.
On 11 January 2019, Hardik Pandya and K. L. Rahul were suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) following controversial comments they made on the Indian talk show Koffee with Karan earlier in the month. They were both sent home ahead of the ODI series against Australia and the fixtures of India's tour to New Zealand. On 24 January 2019, after lifting the suspension on Pandya and Rahul, the BCCI announced that Rahul would re-join the squad for India A matches.
In April 2019, he was named in India's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. He scored his maiden hundred for India in the World Cup against Sri Lanka. In December 2019, in the first T20I match against the West Indies, Rahul scored his 1,000th run in T20I cricket.
Indian Premier League
Rahul made his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as a wicket-keeper batsman during the 2013 competition. Ahead of the 2014 IPL, he was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 1 crore, before returning to RCB ahead of the 2016 IPL season. He finished the season as the 11th highest run-scorer, and RCB's third, with 397 runs from 14 matches. For his performances in the 2016 IPL season, he was named as wicket keeper in the Cricinfo and Cricbuzz IPL XI. Rahul missed the 2017 season due to a shoulder injury.
In the 2018 IPL Auction, he was bought by Kings XI Punjab for INR 11 crore, the joint-third highest price. In the team's first match of the season he scored the fastest 50 in IPL history, taking 14 balls to reach the milestone and breaking the record of Sunil Narine. For his performances in the 2018 IPL season, he was named in the Cricinfo and Cricbuzz IPL XI. After making scores of 90+ three times during 2018, he reached his maiden IPL century in 2019, scoring 100 not out from 64 against Mumbai Indians. For his performances in the 2019 IPL season, he was named in the Cricinfo IPL XI.
In the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on 24 September 2020, he scored an unbeaten 132 off just 69 balls. With that century, he broke the record of the most runs scored by an Indian batsman in an IPL match. He also broke the record of the most runs scored by a captain in an IPL match.
Rahul had a brilliant IPL 2020 season as he scored 670 runs in all the 14 matches he played. He scored 5 fifties and 1 hundred with a highest score of unbeaten 132 against RCB and also had an average of 55.83.
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