Watch: KL Rahul’s intent was the talking point again as he made a 32-ball 39, including starting the innings with a maiden over against Rajasthan Royals today (April 19).

Lucknow Super Giants’ skipper Rahul, whose strike rate has often been a bone of contention in the IPL, was under the scanner again after reaching the end of the powerplay on a run-a-ball 19. Batting first, LSG struggled to get going, with Kyle Mayers, who has kept Quinton de Kock out of the XI, making 16 off 18 in the first six overs.

Rahul, who has made 2,699 runs since 2019 – the most in the league – has a strike rate of 132.89, which had forced Sanjay Manjrekar to comment that the player lacked the “temperament” to be the key player for a side. Against Rajasthan, Rahul, who faced the first over of the innings, was up against Trent Boult as the side looked for their fourth win of the season.

Boult, who had clean bowled Rahul for a golden duck last year, started with a beautiful inswinger, beating Rahul’s edge. The second ball was watchfully defended away, while the third ball was an inswinger as well, which Rahul played straight to the fielder at short cover. The next three deliveries did not fetch any runs either as LSG were 0-0 after the first over.

Rahul’s struggles did not end there, as he huffed his way to 39. He was dropped twice – first by Yashasvi Jaiswal on the first ball of the fourth over. Sandeep Sharma’s advanced down to play a cover drive, but the ball kept low and went straight to the fielder. However, Jaiswal was unable to latch on.

The next over, Rahul got another life as Jason Holder put down a big mishit by the batter off Boult. The West Indies player ran back and was looking over his shoulder as tried to grab a tough catch.

Rahul was on six and 14 on the two instances but was unable to make much of an impact, facing a total of 14 dots during his stay.

Watch Rahul’s struggles against Rajasthan Royals here: