'If I could have played till the end...': KL Rahul on his 'regret' in World Cup final

19 April,2024 05:26 PM IST |  New Delhi  |  mid-day online correspondent

In the final, India could score only 240 runs in their 50 overs after being put to bowl first by Australia, with KL (66), Virat Kohli (54) and Rohit Sharma (47) playing crucial innings

KL Rahul (Pic: AFP)

KL Rahul on Friday opened up on one of the biggest regrets of his cricketing career and his time with the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) franchise in IPL 2024.

Speaking on a video on Ravichandran Ashwin's Youtube channel on Thursday, Rahul said that his regret was not being able to stick around on the crease for long and taking his team to a good score in the finals.

"The World Cup final against Australia, I was stuck in the moment, whether to take down (Mitchell) Starc or just play him as it was reversing, bowling in tough angle - in that confusion, I ended up nicking it - if I could have played till the end, it could have been 30-plus runs & probably World Cup in our hands--that is what I regret.". Rahul said.

In the final, India could score only 240 runs in their 50 overs after being put to bowl first by Australia, with KL (66), Virat Kohli (54) and Rohit Sharma (47) playing crucial innings. Australia was 47-3 at one point during the run-chase, but Travis Head's 137 took the Aussies to a six-wicket win in Ahmedabad.

KL had a great tournament with the bat and gloves, though. His versatility while batting, glovework and DRS calls garnered him acclaim. In 10 innings, he scored 452 runs at an average of 75.33, with a century and two fifties. His best score was 102.

KL also revealed to Ashwin what his conversations were with star batter Virat Kohli when he signed his IPL deal with RCB back in 2013. He said that playing for the franchise was always his dream, and it was a massive learning experience for him.

"Virat was there (ITC Gardenia), coach Ray Jennings and other support staff were also there and Virat only said, 'Would you want to sign this contract and play for RCB?' I was like, 'Are you kidding? It was always my dream.' And then he said, 'I am just kidding. It is not an option, just sign this contract.' I signed and Virat said, 'It is going to be a crazy ride. You are going to enjoy a lot in the next couple of months.'"

"The things that I learned (at RCB) in those two months--I mean, the amount of time it would have taken me to be the player by playing just Ranji Trophy would have probably taken it 7-8 seasons. During those two months in the IPL, I gained so much knowledge and experience and everything was fast-forwarded," he added.

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KL represented RCB in the 2013 and 2016 seasons, playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) from 2014-15, for Punjab Kings from 2018-2021 and for LSG from 2022 till now on.

In 19 matches and 14 innings for RCB, he scored 468 runs at an average of 37.91, with a strike rate of 145.30. He scored four half-centuries, with the best score of 68'.

The right-handed batter said that he would have liked to finish his IPL career with RCB after playing only for them, but the "beauty of IPL" took him to different teams. He also opened up on how excited he was to create a new team and culture with LSG when he was bought by the franchise in 2022.

"I would have also loved to play for Bangalore. I had started there, I would have liked to finish there and that was there in my head. But the beauty of IPL is that you get to go into different teams with different players," said KL.

"When the two new teams came in and I had an opportunity to go there, thats what excited me. To start a franchise from scratch. To create my own team, my own culture. It has been fun and hopefully I can finish there," he concluded.

In 30 matches for LSG, KL has scored 1,094 runs at an average of 42.08, with two centuries and seven fifties. His best score is 103'. Currently, his team is at the fifth spot in the points table, with three wins, three losses and six points.

(With agency inputs)

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