KL Rahul may have scored just four runs during Punjab’s 2021 Indian T20 League clash against Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday, but it was enough to make him the fastest Indian to score 5000 runs in T20s.
Second only to Chris Gayle, who crossed 5000 T20 runs in 132 innings, Rahul breached the mark in 143 innings. His 5000 T20 runs in 143 innings in one fewer than Australian left-hander Shaun Marsh, who achieved the milestone in 144 innings.
Rahul becoming the fastest Indian to breach the 5000-run mark in T20s will come as a surprise to few considering his penchant to entertain and excite in the shortest format of the game. He’s got four centuries in T20s, including two for India on the international stage and has maintained a healthy average of more than 40 in the format for most of his career.
The elegant right-hander, who earlier this season scored 91 and 61 against Rajasthan and Delhi respectively, though will be disappointed to have only managed four against Hyderabad – a team he’s generally dominated in the past.
Since he started the day on 4999 T20 runs, it was always likely that he would cross the 5000-run mark. However, the 29-year-old will be disappointed to have only added four against an opposition he has averaged 42.85, amassing 300 runs and registered three fifties in eight innings against Hyderabad prior to Wednesday’s match.
Having said that, Rahul will know that he has plenty of time to make amends with many games to play before now and the end of the season.
He scored a magnificent 108 for India during their recent 2-1 ODI series win against England and started the ongoing Indian T20 League season in good form as he looks to replicate his Orange Cap winning performances for Punjab that saw him aggregate the most runs (670) last season.
The Punjab skipper in fact, always seems to be in fine form during the Indian T20 League and accumulated 593 runs and 659 runs in the 2019 and 2018 editions of the tournament respectively. Currently Punjab’s top-scorer in the ongoing season with 161 runs, it won’t be much of a shock if Rahul nears the 6000 T20-runs mark by the end of the campaign.
Featured photo: IPL/BCCI