Rahul, the son of a professor and former director of the National Institute of Technology, has always had a passion for cricket. His parents recognised his talent and arranged for formal preparation to help him understand it. He moved to Bangalore at the age of 18 to start his cricket career.
In the 2010-11 season, Rahul began playing first-class cricket for Karnataka. In the same year, he played in the ICC Under 19 World Cup for India. In 2013, he made his IPL debut with Royal Challengers Bangalore. In 2014, he was called up to the national Test team, and two years later, to the ODI team, based on his domestic success.
In the Ranji Trophy, KL Rahul became the first batsman from Karnataka to score a triple century. In 2016, he also became the first Indian batsman to score a century in an ODI. In the same year, he became the first Indian to score a century in T20. In a losing cause, he scored the century off 46 balls. In all ODIs and Tests, he is the first batsman to score a century in the first innings as an opener.
In 2017, Rahul became the fastest batsman in international cricket history to score centuries in all three formats. In just 20 innings, he completed this feat. Rahul has also set the record for the fastest half-century in IPL history. In both formats, he is still the first batsman to hit 100 runs with a six.
Awards and Accolades
In the sixth edition of the Wisden India Almanack, KL Rahul was named Cricketer of the Year.
In the 2010-11 season, KL Rahul made his first-class debut. In the same year, he was chosen to play in the U19 World Cup for India. He was dropped from the domestic team for the 2012-13 season, but he came back strong the following season, scoring 1,033 first-class runs, the second-highest total of the season. In the 2014-15 Ranji Trophy, he appeared in nine matches and averaged more than 93. With a score of 337 against Uttar Pradesh, he became Karnataka’s first triple-centurion.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore were Rahul’s first IPL squad. Sunrisers Hyderabad bought him for the 2014 IPL season, but he returned to Royal Challengers Bangalore two years later. Rahul returned to the IPL in 2018 after missing the 2017 season due to a shoulder injury. He was a member of Kings Xi Punjab. Rahul was purchased for Rs 11 crore at the IPL auction. Rahul scored the fastest fifty in IPL history in his first match with his new side. To hit the milestone, he only required 14 deliveries. In 2019, he scored his first IPL century against Mumbai Indians.
Rahul made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 2016 and became the first Indian batsman to score a century on debut. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended him in January 2019 for remarks he made on a talk show. Rahul rejoined the India A squad after his ban was lifted after two weeks. Rahul has been named in India’s World Cup squad for 2019. Against Sri Lanka, he scored his second ODI century and his first in the World Cup.
After a solid showing on the domestic circuit, he was named to the Indian squad for the 2014 tour to Australia. In the 2014 Boxing Day Test, he made his Test debut. He struggled to hit double figures in both innings, but he scored his first international century in the subsequent match in Sydney. In 2015, he played his next Test series against the Sri Lankan cricket team, scoring a century in the first match. He became the first Indian opener to score a century in his debut in the West Indies during the 2016 tour.
In 2016, KL Rahul made his T20I debut during a tour of Zimbabwe. In the same year, he scored a 110-run unbeaten century off 46 balls in a Twenty20 International match against the West Indies. This was the second-fastest century in history, and the second-fastest century by an Indian. His century was also the first by a batsman batting at number 4 or lower.
Rahul’s father, K.N Lokesh, is a history professor at Mangalore University and his mother, Rajeshwari, is a history professor at the National Institute of Technology in Karnataka. Bhavna, Rahul’s younger sister, is his only child.