It’s storm in a tea cup: Klusener downplays Goenka’s public outburst on KL Rahul

PTI, May 13, 2024, 7:46 PM IST

Sanjiv Goenka's public outburst on LSG skipper KL Rahul (Source: X)

New Delhi: Lucknow Super Giants assistant coach Lance Klusener on Monday played down team owner Sanjiv Goenka’s public outburst on their skipper KL Rahul, terming it “storm in a tea cup” and said he didn’t find any issue in a “robust discussion between two cricket lovers”.

Social media has been abuzz after Goenka was seen having an animated chat, purportedly reprimanding Rahul after LSG’s record demolition at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad, last Wednesday.

There have been speculations about Rahul’s future as LSG skipper also, but Klusener said there has been “certainly no discussions around” the matter.

“I don’t see any problem with some robust discussion between two cricket lovers. So for us, I guess it’s just a storm in a teacup. We love a robust discussion. I think that’s how teams get better. So, it’s not a big thing for us,” the South African said during the pre-match press conference.

“This IPL has been tough for Rahul”

Opening the batting, Rahul has scored 460 runs but his strike-rate reads 136.09, and it has put pressure on the LSG middle-order comprising Marcus Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran.

Klusener, however, backed the senior batter.

“KL has got his own unique style which has made him a fantastic player and respected around the world. I think this IPL has been exceptionally tough for him because we’ve kept losing wickets at stages which hasn’t allowed him to kick on where he likes. He probably feels like he’s always having to rebuild.

“I think as a batting unit around KL, we haven’t been as good as we should. It’s just been extremely tough conditions for him. That’s something we’ve chatted about as well — we’ve just kept losing wickets at tough times.”

However, Klusener said a big knock from Rahul was just around the corner.

“Then batters coming in, seem to have to be rebuilding the whole time and not just coming into a platform. So, I think by KL’s standards, he probably would have liked to have kicked on in a few more games.

“Probably (he) would have liked to have at least one or two hundreds that haven’t worked out for him. But there’s still a couple of games left. He’s in a good space. So, we’ve got our fingers crossed again for him,” he said.

LSG bowling unit was at the receiving end of a brutal onslaught from SRH openers Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma, who racked up a record 167 in 9.4 overs.

“By the bowling unit’s high standards, they didn’t execute as well as they would have liked to on that surface and then you mix in two players who played absolutely beautifully and quite often that ends in a poor result for the team that doesn’t bring their best skills,” Klusener said.

“It was just a mix of some exceptionally hard batting and I don’t think we executed our skills as well as we should have and you mix that together, it doesn’t normally end well.”

LSG are currently at the seventh spot with 12 points, making the remaining two games a must-win contest to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

“I think we’ve been just a little bit inconsistent by our own high standards. We just need to deal with the fact of where we are now and make sure that we become consistent.

“As a team, we want to win the IPL, we probably need to win five in a row, which I think RCB has just done five in a row.

“So that’s just proved that for us it’s absolutely possible, but that’s just the big picture. We need to get over the line tomorrow before we can have any other aspirations.”

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