Gayle has made my life easier: Rahul

Kings XI Punjab's K L Rahul feels his opening partner Chris Gayle has taken some pressure off him. PTI

Kings XI Punjab batsman KL Rahul said opening the batting along side an in-form Chris Gayle has made his life easier as opposition bowlers are always focused on the big-hitting West Indian, which gives him time to build his innings.

Rahul said he is enjoying his cricket now and learning from his flamboyant team-mate Gayle, who "always plays with a big smile on his face and is a complete entertainer."

"He is the most destructive T20 opener in the world. It is a privilege to open the batting with him and it makes my life so much easier," Rahul told PTI.

"When the opposition bowling is focusing on him, that takes a little bit pressure out of me. I can just take my time and I can enjoy my cricket," he added.

The stylish India batsman, who has so far scored 268 runs from seven IPL games at a strike rate of 170.70, said he is used to Gayle's company as they have played together for a few years at Royal Challengers Bangalore previously.

"We have played together for a few years at RCB and now we are together. We enjoy each other's company. He is a great human being. So much fun to be around. A complete entertainer," Rahul said.

"Chris is always playing the game with a big smile on his face. And he enjoys entertaining the crowd even when under pressure. I think when the opposition is up against him they are always under pressure," he added.

Rahul said at present he is enjoying his batting but there is always scope for improvement.

"I am very happy with the way I have been batting, the way I have been hitting the ball. But, obviously there is always scope for improvement. I have got a couple of 50s but I feel like I should have closed a couple of games and stayed not out at the end. That is the thing I am looking to improve in the second half of IPL," he said.

 

Asked whether being in and out of the ODI squad has affected his confidence, Rahul said he knew opportunities would come his way.

"Look I am only trying to improve as a player with each tournament, each game, each opportunity. I am not really thinking about what is going to happen in future or after the IPL or my position in the team.

"I am just enjoying my cricket. I want to be there. I am in good space. I know opportunities will come my way. I have to be patient, keep performing and be consistent," he said.

 

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