Kings XI Punjab opener KL Rahul reminiscing the moments of Indian Premier League (IPL) remembers the effect of mentor Virender Sehwag, said the former India star was very much open to allow his young guns with adequate freedom to express themselves which helped to improve their game.

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Along with the new captain Ravichandran Ashwin, Punjab concluded this year IPL season on a decent note. They have won five of their first six games but failed in making a statement at the end of the league.

On the question of the new captain Ashwin On this very note, KL Rahul expressed- “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. 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 and at other times it won’t. But we have to keep going.”

In the question of the new captain Ashwin, Rahul expressed his opinion- “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. His proactive attitude on the field has given players including me a lot of freedom to express myself on the field and give my best.”

The Karnataka batsman was also seen to be full of mouth for swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle and said- “He is the most destructive T20 opener in the world. Now it has become one of the special moments in my life that I got to open the batting with him and it makes my life so much easier.”

In the context of Red Bull campus cricket, a university-level competition which helped him grow as a cricketer, Rahul said: “Red Bull Campus Cricket was a game changer for me. It platformed me to express myself and grow as a cricketer. Due to injuries, I was dropped from the stateside and that time in 2013, Red Bull Campus Cricket played a prominent role in my development. I had a good tournament and then get selected for Karnataka in Ranji. I have never looked back since.” He ended with a conclusive note that Red Bull campus cricket also provides young cricketers a stage to express themselves, and provides a fair idea of the profession as they go higher up.

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