Rahul: ‘Very unfortunate that Quinton has to miss out’

Rahul: ‘Very unfortunate that Quinton has to miss out’

KL Rahul has admitted he “feels bad” about Quinton de Kock‘s continued absence from Lucknow Super Giants’ starting XI in IPL 2023, describing his omission as “very unfortunate”.
De Kock was unavailable for Super Giants’ opening two games of the season while on international duty and Kyle Mayers, who filled in at the top of the order, made the most of his opportunity.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s game against Rajasthan Royals, Mayers was Super Giants’ leading run-scorer for the season with 168 in five innings, including two half-centuries. He has also maintained a healthy strike rate of 168.00.

Super Giants have used Mayers, Nicholas Pooran, Marcus Stoinis and one fast bowler – either Mark Wood, Romario Shepherd or Naveen-ul-Haq – as their four overseas players this season, and have been unwilling to alter that combination to accommodate de Kock despite his previous success for them.

“It’s very unfortunate that someone like Quinton has to sit out,” Rahul, Super Giants’ captain, said at the toss ahead of their game in Jaipur. “But unfortunately, there are only four foreign players [per XI] that can play in this competition.

“He’ll just have to wait for some more time. Kyle is doing really well. It’s a bit unfortunate. You feel bad. I’ve enjoyed playing and enjoyed opening with Quinton, but for now, he’s still not playing.”

De Kock opened the batting alongside Rahul throughout the 2022 season as Super Giants reached the play-offs, scoring 508 runs at an average of 36.28 and a strike rate of 148.97. He was retained on a contract worth INR 6.75 crore ahead of this year, but has found himself running the drinks.

“It’s been quite relaxed,” de Kock told Star Sports before Wednesday’s game. “I’m not quite used to being on the side for so long but it’s all good – the team’s doing really well so I guess that’s the most important thing.

“It’s been chilled. I’ve made a couple more friends sitting on the side, learned a lot more with the boys and it’s been fun watching the guys.”

He added that he has been working hard to keep himself fit and try to force his way into the side. “Put it this way: I don’t think I’ve gymed, run and practised as much as I have in the last two in my whole career,” de Kock said.

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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