Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul walked the talk on Friday as he scored a classy 60* on a difficult batting surface to win the game for his team against the mighty Mumbai Indians. The 29-year-old was named man of the match for his stellar performance, as he helped Punjab Kings get back to winning ways after a run of three consecutive defeats.

This performance however wasn’t a one off for the Punjab skipper, as he has had a tendency of saving his best for the toughest oppositions. Since joining Punjab Kings, KL Rahul has scored at least one fifty against the reigning VIVO Indian Premier League champions, with four of those coming in winning causes. 

Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings have historically been the two strongest outfits in the IPL, with eight trophies distributed amongst them. However, their prowess has never seemed to bother Rahul, as he boasts some of his finest numbers against these two sides. 

In the 2018 season, Rahul scored a spellbinding 94 against the then champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, almost single handedly winning the game for his team. In the next season, he got even better as he scored his first IPL century in 2019 against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium, and also got an unbeaten 71 against the same opposition in the reverse fixture in Mohali, as Punjab went on to win that game by eight wickets. 

Rahul also managed big scores against reigning champs Chennai in that 2019 season, as he went berserk against the likes of Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir, scoring a match-winning 71 off just 36 balls. He also got a fifty in the other fixture at the Chepauk Stadium against CSK, but unfortunately could not see his team over the line on that occasion. 

The 2020 season was also no different, as Rahul was top scorer for Punjab in their double Super Over win over Mumbai Indians, once again performing against the reigning champions. While many have struggled to find their feet when faced against the champions, Rahul seems to enjoy the pressure of that big stage to put his best foot forward and deliver some of the most eye catching performances in the history of the IPL. 

Making merry against Mumbai

In his last five knocks against Rohit Sharma’s team, KL Rahul has accrued just one score below fifty. The 29-year-old averages 64.44 against Mumbai Indians in the IPL, as he has clobbered 580 runs in 12 innings when his opposition bowlers have been sporting the Mumbai blue. He has been top scorer for Punjab against Mumbai on five of the last seven occasions, with his last five scores against the reigning IPL champs reading 71*, 100*, 17, 77 and 60*.

Apart from performing the best against one of the best in the league, Rahul also boasts an admirable record against both of Mumbai’s spearheads- Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult. Bumrah has been hit for 104 runs in nine games off the willow of KL Rahul, while the Indian pacer has had his national teammates’ number just twice. Similar is the situation for Boult, who has been hit for 73 runs off just 36 balls in the IPL so far by Rahul. The Kiwi pacer has dismissed the Punjab Kings skipper just once.   

Captain Punjab has led from the front in compelling situations many a times in the past, and fans of his franchise would be optimistic for that trend to continue for many more games, as KL Rahul continues to amaze audiences worldwide when faced against the best, against the champions.