To earn a place on a team, represent your country, and perform is tough and to do this with confidence and in style is Kannur Lokesh Rahul better known as KL Rahul. The Bangalore-based right-handed top-order batsman and occasional wicket-keeper has carved a niche for himself with some exceptional innings.
Born in Mangalore in April 1992, he started playing cricket at the age of 11 and moved to Bengaluru to pursue his career in cricket from Jain University. During the felicitation ceremony held at the Jain University in 2016, the alumni was honored for his remarkable performance.
Rahul credited his success to the University. “I always used to ask the Sports Director about the numbers of classes I need to attend and he told me to get back onto the cricket field and not to worry about my attendance. It was this sort of support that gave me the freedom to concentrate on my game and succeed,” he said. He has also been a part of Sports Award Ceremony organized by the University.
One of the brightest stars in the Indian cricket team, the following are just some of his achievements.
- He was a part of 2010 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
- In 2013, KL Rahul represented Jain University in an inter-collegiate cricket tournament and scored a century which helped Jain University record a 39-run win over University of Madras in the final match of the South Zone inter-university cricket championship. With his record of the fastest batsman to have scored centuries in all three cricket matches, he also became first triple-centurion for Karnataka in first-class.
- He made his international debut in the 2014-15 Test series played against Australia at Melbourne and scored his maiden Test century in his second Test match.
- Rahul became the first Indian to score a century on One Day International debut and the first Indian opener to score a century in his debut Test in the West Indies, the third Indian to score a century in all three formats of international cricket, and score a ton in the first innings as opener in both Tests and ODIs.
- In June 2016, he scored a century on his One Day International debut against Zimbabwe becoming the first Indian cricketer to do so on the debut match.
- He plays for Karnataka in the domestic circuit and Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League. Rahul made his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut in 2013 for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as a wicket-keeper batsman. Playing for Kings XI Punjab in the 2018 IPL, he scored the fastest 50 in IPL history. For his performances in the 2018 and 2019 IPL seasons, he was named in the Cricinfo and Cricbuzz IPL XI.
For all of us, to receive recognition from established and renowned personalities in the field is an achievement in itself. In an interview with the Press Trust of India, Chris Gayle spoke of KL Rahul as an extraordinary talent who had the ability to match Virat Kohli’s feats. This remark coming from one of the greatest Jamaican batsmen holding numerous records would no doubt be special.