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‘Sehwag gave us the freedom’

Trade secret:K.L. Rahul thoroughly enjoyed the team management’s support and delivered at the top of the order in IPL-11.Vivek Bendre  

Kings XI Punjab opener K.L. Rahul praised the IPL side’s mentor Virender Sehwag, saying the former India star gave every player freedom to express themselves which helped to improve their game.

Led by R. Ashwin, Kings XI started the 2018 season on a bright note, winning five of its first six games, but faltered towards the business end of the league.

“I did go up to Sehwag and spoke to him at different times. He kept his game very simple and that’s his advice to all the players — to go out, trust your gut feeling and enjoy the game with a smile on our face.

“That’s the kind of freedom he has given to everybody, not just me, be it batsmen or bowlers,” Rahul said. And this is the brand of cricket we want to play as a team, not always keeping in mind the result. We want to be fearless and aggressive. In a tournament like the IPL, sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t. But we have to keep going,” Rahul said.

Fearless

“Ashwin, I think, has been great. He spends a lot of time with the youngsters. He makes it clear that he expects the team to be fearless and play with instinct,” the 26-year-old said.

“He is quite pro-active and has given players, including me, a lot of freedom to express themselves and give their best,” he added.

The Karnataka batsman also praised swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle and said he is the most destructive T20 opener in the world.

“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 said.