Kannur Lokesh Rahul (/kənr lkʃ ˌrɑːhʊl/; born 18 April 1992) is an Indian international cricketer. A right-handed wicket-keeping batter, Rahul captains the Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League.

KL Rahul
Rahul in 2018
Personal information
Full name
Kannur Lokesh Rahul
Born (1992-04-18) 18 April 1992 (age 32)
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
NicknameKL
BattingRight-handed
RoleWicket-keeper-batter
Relations
(m. 2023)
(wife)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 284)26 December 2014 v Australia
Last Test25 January 2024 v England
ODI debut (cap 213)11 June 2016 v Zimbabwe
Last ODI21 December 2023 v South Africa
ODI shirt no.1 (formerly 2, 11)
T20I debut (cap 63)18 June 2016 v Zimbabwe
Last T20I10 November 2022 v England
T20I shirt no.1 (formerly 2, 11)
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
2010–presentKarnataka
2013, 2016Royal Challengers Bangalore
2014–2015Sunrisers Hyderabad
2018–2021Kings XI Punjab
2022–presentLucknow Super Giants
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI T20I FC
Matches 50 75 72 93
Runs scored 2,863 2,820 2,265 6,760
Batting average 34.10 50.36 37.75 44.18
100s/50s 8/14 7/18 2/22 18/32
Top score 199 112 110* 337
Catches/stumpings 62/– 58/5 23/1 94/–
Medal record
Men's Cricket
Representing  India
ICC Cricket World Cup
Runner-up 2023 India
ACC Asia Cup
Winner 2018 United Arab Emirates
Winner 2023 Pakistan-Sri Lanka
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 28 December 2023

He made his international debut in 2014 against Australia in the Boxing Day Test-match in Melbourne. Two years after his Test debut, Rahul made his One-Day International debut in 2016 against Zimbabwe, where he scored his first century by hitting a six on the last ball to reach 100* (115) from 94 (114), which was also the only six of the entire match. Rahul is the first and only Indian cricketer to score an ODI century on his debut. On the same tour, he made his T20I debut.[1] He is the fastest batsman in the world to score an International century across all three formats, taking only twenty innings.[2]

Early and personal life

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Rahul with his wife Athiya Shetty in 2023

Rahul was born on 18 April 1992 to K. N. Lokesh and Rajeshwari in Bangalore, Karnataka. His father Lokesh, who hails from Kannanur in Magadi, is a professor and former director at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK)[3][4] in Mangalore. His mother, Rajeshwari, is a professor at Mangalore University.[5] His father was a fan of cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and wanted to name his own son after Gavaskar's son but mistook Rohan Gavaskar's name for Rahul.[6] His mother tongue is Kannada.[7]

Rahul grew up in Mangalore, completing his high school at NITK English Medium School and pre-university at St. Aloysius College.[8] He started cricket training at the age of 10, and, two years later, started playing matches for both Bangalore United Cricket Club and his club in Mangalore.[9] At age 18, he moved to Bangalore to study at Jain University and pursue his cricket career.[10][11][12]

On 23 January 2023, Rahul married his long-time partner, Indian actress Athiya Shetty, daughter of actor Suniel Shetty, after dating for more than three years.[13]

Domestic career

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Rahul made his first-class cricket debut for Karnataka in the 2010–11 season. In the same season, he represented his country at the 2010 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, scoring 143 runs in the competition.[14] He made his debut in the Indian Premier League in 2013, for Royal Challengers Bangalore.[15] During the 2013–14 domestic season he scored 1,033 first-class runs, the second highest scorer that season.

Playing for South Zone in the final of the 2014–15 Duleep Trophy against Central Zone, Rahul scored 185 off 233 balls in the first innings and 130 off 152 in the second. He was named the player of the match and selected to the Indian Test squad for the Australian tour followed.

Returning home after the Test series, Rahul became Karnataka's first triple-centurion, scoring 337 against Uttar Pradesh.[16] He went on to score 188 in the 2014–15 Ranji Trophy final against Tamil Nadu and finished the season with an average of 93.11 in the nine matches he played.

International career

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K.L. Rahul amid practice session (2019)

Debut and early career (2014–2021)

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Rahul made his Test debut in the 2014 Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He replaced Rohit Sharma and was presented with his Test cap by MS Dhoni. He managed to score only 3 and 1 on his debut. In the next test at Sydney where he opened the innings for the first time, and made his maiden international century, scoring 110 runs.

He was named in the 15-man squad for the Indian tour of Bangladesh in June 2015 but withdrew due to dengue. He returned to the side for the first Test of the Sri Lankan tour after Murali Vijay was ruled out due to injury, scoring his second Test century and winning the Man of the Match award. During the match, he kept wicket after Wriddhiman Saha was injured.[17]

In July 2016, Rahul was named in the squad for India tour of West Indies. In the second series test, Rahul scored 158 runs, his then-highest score in test cricket. In September 2016, he was named in the squad for the home series against New Zealand. After the first test, he was replaced by Gautam Gambhir due to an injury.

Rahul was selected in the squad against England in the 2016-17 Test series but was injured while training in the nets. He was ruled out of the third test, but he made his comeback to the team in the fourth test but failed to make an impact. In the fifth and final test of the series, Rahul went on to make his fourth test ton, scoring his career-best 199 runs.

Rahul was named in the squad to tour Zimbabwe in 2016. He made his One Day International (ODI) debut against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club. Rahul scored an unbeaten 100*(115) on debut, thus becoming the first Indian cricketer to score a century on an ODI debut. He was named the man of the series.[18][19] He made his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut later in the same tour. Rahul got out on a golden duck on his T20I debut as India lost the first T20I against Zimbabwe.[20] Rahul was named in T20I squad for the tour of West Indies in 2016, where he made his first T20I century of just 46 balls and ended up scoring an unbeaten 110 off just 51 balls. He became the first player to score a T20I century while batting at number four in a one-run defeat whilst in pursuit of 246, the highest T20I run chase at that time.[21]

In his 20th international innings, Rahul became the fastest batsman to have scored centuries in all three formats, surpassing the record of Ahmed Shehzad, who took 76 innings.[22] On 3 July 2018, Rahul scored his second T20 International ton against England.[23] He is also the first Indian batsman to be dismissed hit-wicket in T20Is.[24]

On 11 January 2019, Hardik Pandya and Rahul were suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) following misogynistic comments they made on the Indian talk show Koffee with Karan earlier in the month.[25][26] They were both sent home ahead of the ODI series against Australia and the fixtures of India's tour to New Zealand.[27] On 24 January 2019, after lifting the suspension on Pandya and Rahul, the BCCI announced that Rahul would re-join the squad for India A matches.[28]

In April 2019, he was named in India's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.[29][30] He played at number 4 in the first two games but got back to opening the innings alongside Rohit Sharma when Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the rest of the tournament due to injury. Overall, Rahul scored 361 runs with two fifties and one hundred in the tournament and finished as India's third-highest run scorer in the tournament after Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.[31]

Due to lack of form in the Test format, Rahul was dropped from the squad for the home tests against South Africa.[32] However, he remained in the limited over sides.

In December 2019, in the first T20I match against the West Indies, Rahul scored his 1,000th run in T20I cricket.[33] He scored 62 (40) in the first T20I against West Indies. He scored 91 (56) in the third T20I, for which he was convicted the Man of the Match. He scored his 3rd ODI century in the 2nd ODI against West Indies. In the 2-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, Rahul scored 45 in the first match and 54 in the second T20I.

In January 2020, Rahul made 80 (52) batting at number five in the second ODI against Australia and was rewarded as the man of the match.[34]

In India's tour of New Zealand in 2019–20, Rahul was declared man of the series in the five-match T20I series for scoring 224 runs at an average of 56. He was also the stand-in captain in the 5th T20I after Rohit Sharma suffered a hamstring injury during the 1st innings. In the ODI series against New Zealand, he scored 88* (64) in the first ODI and scored his fourth ton in ODIs, 112 (113) in the third ODI.[35]

In October 2020, Rahul was named as India's vice captain for the ODI and T20I series against Australia. Rahul had a moderate ODI and T20I series against Australia. He made 77 against Australia in the second ODI and 51 in the first T20I. India lost the ODI series 2–1 but won the T20I series by the same margin.

Rahul was included in the test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy but was not picked in the playing XI for the first two Tests. He injured himself during practice and was ruled out of the remaining part of the tour.

As a result, he also missed the home Test series against England in February 2021. He returned to the national side for the T20I and ODI series against England. There was a dip in his form in the T20I series. He returned to form in the ODI series scoring a match-winning 62* and was involved in a 100-run partnership with debutant Krunal Pandya who scored a fifty. He continued his form by scoring 108 runs in the second ODI and was involved in another 100-run partnership with Rishabh Pant.[36]

Rahul was named to India's test squad for their tour of England in 2021. As Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal were injured, Rahul opened alongside teammate Rohit Sharma.In the first test at Trent Bridge, Rahul scored 84 and 26. He scored 129 (250) at Lords and was awarded the man of the match in the second test. Rahul displayed excellent technical skills for batting in England, including playing the ball late and leaving the ball well. Rahul scored 315 runs in eight innings of four matches played and was the second-highest run scorer for India in the tour behind Rohit Sharma.[37]

Vice-captaincy (2021–22)

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In September 2021, Rahul was named to India's squad for the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup.[38] He was the highest run scorer for India in the tournament, scoring 194 runs including three consecutive fifties. He also scored the tournament's joint fastest fifty in just 18 balls against Scotland.[39][40] After Virat Kohli stepped down as Indian T20i captain, Rahul was appointed the Vice-captain of Indian Cricket Team in T20i as former Vice-captain Rohit Sharma was appointed the new Captain of T20i format. Later, Rahul was appointed ODI vice-captain as well due to the change of captaincy in the white ball format of the Indian team.

In December 2021, Rahul was named as India's test vice-captain for the away series against South Africa after India's regular vice-captain Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the series. Rahul was also named as the ODI captain for the One Day series of the same tour as India's regular ODI captain Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the series due to a hamstring injury. In the first test match against South Africa in December 2021, he scored 123 in India's first innings and 23 in India's second innings. For this performance, he was awarded the Man of the Match award.

In the second test against South Africa in January 2022, Rahul captained India for the first time in test cricket and became the 34th Test captain of India. He scored a half-century on his captaincy debut. Despite his best efforts, Rahul couldn't lead the team to victory, and India lost the second Test by seven wickets. In the first ODI against South Africa, he made his debut in ODI Captaincy and became the 26th ODI captain of India. However, India lost the series 3–0 to South Africa.

 
KL Rahul being interviewed during the 2022 T20 World Cup

In February 2022, during the second ODI of India against the West Indies, Rahul scored 49 (48) and completed 6000 runs in International cricket across all formats. In the same ODI, Rahul sustained an upper left hamstring strain and was ruled out of the next ODI as well as the upcoming T20Is series against the West Indies.[41] Rahul was named captain for the South African tour of India in June, but was later ruled out of the series due to a groin injury.[42] After a successful sports hernia surgery, Rahul came back to the team and was named captain for the India Tour of Zimbabwe in August.[43][44]

Rahul was the stand-in captain for the team during the last match played by team India in the 2022 Asia Cup against Afghanistan.[45]

Due to poor form, in February 2023 he was removed from the Test vice-captaincy, with his spot in the team questioned.[46][47]

Rahul made his return to cricket in Asia Cup 2023 against Pakistan. Rahul scored an unbeaten century on his return, scoring 111 off 106 balls.[48]

Following a successful Asia Cup, Rahul was named in the squad for 2023 Cricket World Cup.[49] Ahead of the World Cup, Rahul was named as the captain for first two ODIs for the series against Australia.[50]

Rahul started his World Cup 2023 campaign scoring an unbeaten 97 against Australia in a tricky chase after India lost 3 wickets at the score of 2.[51] In the final match of the group stage of the World Cup, against the Netherlands at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Rahul recorded the fastest century by an Indian batter in a World Cup, when he reached the milestone in 62 deliveries. He coincidentally broke the record held by Rohit Sharma who hit a century earlier of 63 deliveries in the tournament during India's match against Afghanistan.[52] In the final against Australia, Rahul top scored in India's first innings with 66 runs as they struggled to 240 and were comfortably defeated by 6-wickets.[53]

On 30 November, Rahul was announced as the captain for the 3 match ODI series against South Africa after the regular ODI captain Rohit Sharma had taken a break following an intense 2023 Cricket World Cup schedule.[54] Rahul subsequently, won the series 2-1 making him the second captain after Virat Kohli to win an ODI series in South Africa.[55]

In December 2023, during the first test match of the series between India and South Africa, Rahul scored his 8th test match century helping India to post a challenging first innings score of 245 during challenging batting conditions. He top scored that innings with 101 runs with the second highest score only being 38 runs. Despite his efforts, India ended up losing the match by an innings and 32 runs. [56]

Rahul scored 86 and 22 in defeat in the first test of England's 2023–24 tour India. However, he missed the rest of the series through injury.[57][58][59]

Indian Premier League

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Debut and early seasons (2013–2017)

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Rahul made his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as a wicket-keeper batsman during the 2013 competition. Ahead of the 2014 IPL, he was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 1 crore. Rahul returned to RCB ahead of the 2016 IPL season.

In the 2016 IPL season with Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rahul finished the season as the 11th-highest run-scorer and RCB's third, with 397 runs from 14 matches. For his performances in the 2016 IPL season, he was named as wicketkeeper in the ESPNcricinfo and Cricbuzz IPL XI.[60][61] Rahul missed the 2017 season due to a shoulder injury.[62]

Stint with Punjab Kings (2018–2021)

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In the 2018 IPL Auction, he was bought by Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) for INR 11 crore, the joint-third highest price. In the team's first match of the season, he scored the fastest 50 in IPL history, taking 14 balls to reach the milestone and breaking the record of Sunil Narine.[63][64]

KL in total scored 659 runs in the season at a strike rate of 158.41 and an average of 54.91. He finished the season as third highest run scorer, and he was named in the Cricinfo and Cricbuzz IPL XI.[65][66]

Kings XI Punjab retained Rahul for the 2019 season. Rahul was named as vice-captain for the season. He scored his maiden IPL century, scoring 100 not out off 64 balls against Mumbai Indians. In total KL scored 593 runs in the season with average of 53.90 and strike rate of 135.38.

On 19 December 2019, Rahul was announced as captain of the Punjab for the 2020 season, after former captain Ravichandran Ashwin was traded to Delhi Capitals.[67]

In the match against RCB on 24 September 2020, he scored an unbeaten 132*, then the most runs scored by an Indian batsman in an IPL match.[68]

Rahul won the Orange Cap in IPL 2020 for scoring most runs in IPL 2020 (670 runs). He was also awarded as the Dream 11 Game changer of the season.[69]

KL Rahul was retained as the captain by the Punjab Kings ahead of the 2021 IPL season.[70] He scored 626 runs in IPL 2021, finishing as the team's highest scorer in the season.[71]

Lucknow Super Giants (2022–present)

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Prior to the 2022, Rahul parted ways with the Punjab Kings and was drafted by Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) as their captain for INR 17 crore, making him the joint highest paid cricketer in the IPL alongside Virat Kohli.

On 16 April 2022, Rahul scored his first century for Lucknow (103* off 60) against Mumbai.[72] He followed this up with another unbeaten century(103* off 62) against the same opposition eight days later.

Rahul led his team to play-offs in the debut season for LSG but ended up losing to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Eliminator. Rahul was the highest scorer for his team, scoring 616 runs with an average of 51.33 scoring 2 centuries in the season.[73]

Rahul was retained as the captain for Lucknow Super Giants for 2023 season. Rahul was ruled out of the tournament mid way after sustaining an injury while fielding in a match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.[74]

KL Rahul Net Worth

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As of 2024, Kannur Lokesh Rahul net worth is estimated at around $12 Million (₹ 99 crores).[75]

International centuries

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As of January 2024 Rahul has made 17 international centuries - 8 in Test cricket, 7 in One-Day Internationals and 2 in T20Is. Rahul is the only Indian player to score a century on his ODI debut. He is also the first batter to score a century in T20Is while playing at 4th or lower batting position.

List of international centuries by KL Rahul

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Key
* ~ Not Out
~ Man of the Match
Centuries by KL Rahul in Tests[76]
No. Runs Against Pos. Inn. Test Venue H/A Date Result Ref.
1 110   Australia 2 2 4/4   Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Away 6 January 2015 Drawn [77]
2 108 †   Sri Lanka 2 1 2/3   P Sara Oval, Colombo Away 20 August 2015 Won [78]
3 158   West Indies 1 2 2/2   Sabina Park, Kingston Away 30 July 2016 Drawn [79]
4 199   England 1 2 5/5   M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai Home 16 December 2016 Won [80]
5 149   England 1 4 5/5   The Oval, London Away 7 September 2018 Lost [81]
6 129 †   England 2 1 2/5   Lord's, London Away 12 August 2021 Won [82]
7 123 †   South Africa 1 1 1/3   SuperSport Park, Centurion Away 26 December 2021 Won [83]
8 101   South Africa 4 1 1/2   SuperSport Park, Centurion Away 27 December 2023 Lost [84]
ODI Centuries by KL Rahul[85]
No Runs Against Pos. Inn. S/R Venue H/A/N Date Result Ref.
1 100* †   Zimbabwe 1 2 86.95   Harare Sports Club, Harare Away 11 June 2016 Won [86]
2 111   Sri Lanka 1 2 94.06   Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds Neutral 6 July 2019 Won [87]
3 102   West Indies 2 1 98.07   Dr. Y.S.R.R. Stadium, Vishakhapatnam Home 18 December 2019 Won [88]
4 112   New Zealand 5 1 99.11   Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui Away 11 February 2020 Lost [89]
5 108   England 4 1 94.73   MCA Stadium, Pune Home 26 March 2021 Lost [90]
6 111*   Pakistan 5 1 104.72   R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo Neutral 11 September 2023 Won
7 102   Netherlands 5 1 159.37   M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru Home 12 November 2023 Won
T20I Centuries by KL Rahul[91]
No. Runs Against Pos. Inn. S/R Venue H/A/N Date Result Ref.
1 110*   West Indies 4 2 215.68   Central Broward Park, Lauderhill Away 27 August 2016 Lost [92]
2 101*   England 3 2 187.03   Old Trafford, Manchester Away 3 July 2018 Won [93]

See also

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References

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  1. ^ "KL Rahul". ESPNcricinfo.
  2. ^ "KL Rahul". Sportskeeda.
  3. ^ "CV of Dr. K. N. Lokesh" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Former Directors. NITK Surathkal". www.nitk.ac.in. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  5. ^ "KL Rahul Feels 2019 Suspension Changed His Thought Process, Helps Him to Become Better 'Team Player' pandemic". India.com. 14 June 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  6. ^ Jaishankar, Vedam (1 August 2016). "India vs West Indies: KL Rahul's story would probably do a movie scriptwriter proud". Firstpost. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  7. ^ "With help of 4 languages, Anil Kumble & KL Rahul plot KXIP's IPL plan". The Times of India. IANS. 8 September 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2023.
  8. ^ Achal, Ashwin (24 May 2019). "K.L. Rahul: A classy talent with an aggressive streak". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  9. ^ Achal, Ashwin (23 May 2019). "World Cup: Mangalore, Bangalore, England – the Rahul journey!". Sportstar. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
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  11. ^ "Rahul's dad, a Gavaskar fan, happy son is selected for Aus tour as opener". Rediff. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
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  30. ^ "Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar in India's World Cup squad". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
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  33. ^ "Virat Kohli's 94* leads India to stunning victory". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
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  38. ^ "India's T20 World Cup squad: R Ashwin picked, MS Dhoni named mentor". ESPNcricinfo. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
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  57. ^ "Bumrah rested for fourth Test against England". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  58. ^ "Jadeja and Rahul ruled out of second Test against England". ESPNcricinfo. 29 January 2024. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  59. ^ "KL Rahul ruled out of third India vs England Test; Devdutt Padikkal called up". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 12 February 2024.
  60. ^ "Morris and Mustafizur, Krunal and Chahal in IPL XI". ESPNcricinfo. 30 May 2016.
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  63. ^ "RCB vs KKR match: After Lokesh Rahul's fastest IPL fifty, Sunil Narine slams 17-ball 50 in IPL 2018, Match 3". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  64. ^ "Rahul floors Daredevils with fastest ever IPL fifty". ESPNcricinfo. 8 April 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  65. ^ "Vote for your IPL 2018 team of the tournament". ESPNcricinfo. 31 May 2018.
  66. ^ "CB XI - team of IPL 2018". 28 May 2018.
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