KL Rahul’s Success Story from Local Fields to International Glory

KL Rahul

Kannanur Lokesh Rahul is well-known as KL Rahul. He is an Indian international cricketer. A right-handed wicket-keeping batsman. He plays for Karnataka at the domestic level and captains the Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League.

He is an occasional captain of India national cricket team. He was a part of the Indian squads. The team won the 2018 Asia Cup and 2023 Asia Cup.

In 2014, he made his international debut in against Australia in the Boxing Day Test-match in Melbourne. Rahul made his One-Day International Debut in 2016 against Zimbabwe.

There he scored his first century by hitting a six on the last ball. It was also the only six of the entire match. On the same tour, he made his T20I debut.

KL Rahul is the first and only Indian cricketer to score an ODI century on his debut. He is the fastest batsman in the world to score an International century across all three formats, taking only 20 innings to achieve this feat.

Brief overview of KL Rahul’s early life

KL Rahul was born on 18 April 1992 to K. N. Lokesh and Rajeshwari in Bangalore, Karnataka. India. His father Lokesh, hails from Kannanur in Mangalore.

He is a professor and former director at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) in Mangalore. His mother, Rajeshwari, is a professor at Mangalore University.

His father, Lokesh was a fan of cricketer Sunil Gavaskar. So he wanted to name his son after Gavaskar’s son, but mistook Rohan Gavaskar’s name for Rahul.

KL Rahul grew up in Mangalore. He completed his high school at NITK English Medium School and pre-university at St.

Aloysius College. At the age of 10, he started cricket training and two years later he started playing matches for both Bangalore United Cricket Club and his club in Mangalore. At age of 18, he moved to Bangalore to study at Jain University and pursue his cricket career.

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On 23rd January 2023, KL Rahul married his long-time partner, Indian actress Athiya Shetty. She is the daughter of actor Suniel Shetty. They got married after dating for more than three years.

Setting the stage for his journey from local cricket to the international arena

In the season 2010-2011, KL Rahul made his first-class cricket debut for Karnataka. In the same season, he represented his country at the 2010 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup by scoring 143 runs in the competition. He made his debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2013, for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

In 2014-15 Duleep Trophy against Central Zone, he scored 185 off 233 balls in the first innings and 130 off 152 in the second. He was named the player of the match and selected to the Indian Test squad for the Australian tour followed.

After the Test series, KL Rahul became Karnataka’s first triple-centurion, scoring 337 against Uttar Pradesh. He went on to score 188 in the 2014–15 Ranji Trophy final against Tamil Nadu.

International Career

In 2014, KL Rahul made his Test debut in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He replaced Rohit Sharma and was presented with his Test cap by MS Dhoni. In the next test at Sydney where he opened the innings for the first time, and made his maiden international century, scoring 110 runs.

He was named in the 15-man squad for the Indian tour of Bangladesh in June 2015 but withdrew due to Dengue fever.

In July 2016, KL Rahul was named in the squad for India tour of West Indies. In the second series test, he scored 158 runs, his then-highest score in test cricket. In September 2016, he was named in the squad for the home series against New Zealand.

KL Rahul was named in the squad to tour Zimbabwe in 2016. He made his One Day International (ODI) debut against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club.

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Later in the same tour, he made his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut. Rahul got out on a golden duck on his T20I debut as India lost the first T20I against Zimbabwe.

KL Rahul was named in T20I squad for the tour of West Indies in 2016. He became the first player to score a T20I century while batting at number four.

In his 20th international innings, Rahul became the fastest batsman to have scored centuries in all three formats, surpassing the record of Ahmed Shehzad, who took 76 innings.

On 11th January 2019, Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) following controversial comments they made on the Indian talk show Koffee with Karan earlier in the month.

On 24th January 2019, after lifting the suspension on Pandya and KL Rahul, the BCCI announced that Rahul would re-join the squad for India A matches. In April 2019, he was named in India’s squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Due to lack of form in the Test format, KL Rahul was dropped from the Test squad for the Home tests against South Africa. However, he remained in the limited over sides.

In India’s tour of New Zealand in 2019–20, KL Rahul was declared man of the series in the five-match T20I series for scoring 224 runs at an average of 56.

He was also the stand-in captain in the 5th T20I as Rohit Sharma suffered a hamstring injury during the 1st innings.

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In October 2020, KL Rahul was named as India’s vice-captain for the ODI and T20I series against Australia. Rahul had a moderate ODI and T20I series against Australia.

Rahul was included in the test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy but was not picked in the playing XI for the first two Tests.

KL Rahul was named to India’s test squad for their tour of England in 2021. As Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal were injured, Rahul opened alongside teammate Rohit Sharma.


In September 2021, KL Rahul was named to India’s squad for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. After Virat Kohli stepped down as Indian T20i captain, Rahul was appointed the Vice-captain of Indian Cricket Team in T20i as former Vice-captain Rohit Sharma was appointed the new Captain of T20i format.

Later, Rahul was appointed ODI vice-captain as well due to the change of captaincy in the white ball format of the Indian team.

In December 2021, KL Rahul was named as India’s test vice-captain for the away series against South Africa after India’s regular vice-captain Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the series.

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He was also named as the ODI captain for the One Day series of the same tour as India’s regular ODI captain Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the series due to a hamstring injury.

In the second test against South Africa in January 2022, KL Rahul captained India for the first time in test cricket.    

In the first ODI against South Africa, he made his debut in ODI Captaincy and became the 26th ODI captain of India.

KL Rahul was named captain for the South African tour of India in June, but was later ruled out of the series due to a groin injury. After a successful sports hernia surgery, Rahul came back to the team and was named captain for the India Tour of Zimbabwe in August.

He was the stand-in captain for the team during the last match played by team India in the 2022 Asia Cup against Afghanistan. In February 2023 he was removed from the Test vice-captaincy due to poor form.

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KL Rahul made his return to cricket in Asia Cup 2023 against Pakistan. Rahul scored an unbeaten century on his return, scoring 111 off 106 balls.

Following a successful Asia Cup, Rahul was named in the squad for 2023 Cricket World Cup. Ahead of the World Cup, Rahul was named as the captain for first two ODIs for the series against Australia.

In the World Cup Final against Australia, Rahul top scored India’s first innings with 66 runs to help post team India a fighting score of 240 on a challenging afternoon wicket at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

On 30 November, Rahul was announced as the captain for the 3 matches ODI series against South Africa as the regular ODI captain Rohit Sharma had taken a break following an intense 2023 Cricket World Cup schedule.  

Indian Premier League

KL Rahul made his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as a wicket-keeper batsman during the 2013 competition.

Later in 2014 IPL, he was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 1 crore. Rahul returned to RCB ahead of the 2016 IPL season.

In the 2016 IPL season with Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rahul finished the season as the 11th-highest run-scorer and RCB’s third. Rahul missed the 2017 season due to a shoulder injury.

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In the 2018 IPL Auction, he was bought by Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) for INR 11 crore, the joint-third highest price. He finished the season as third highest run scorer and he was named in the Cricinfo and Cricbuzz IPL XI.

Kings XI Punjab retained Rahul for the 2019 season. Rahul was named as vice-captain for the season.
On 19th December 2019, Rahul was announced as captain of the Punjab for the 2020 season, after former captain Ravichandran Ashwin was traded to Delhi Capitals.

KL won the Orange Cap in IPL 2020 for scoring most runs in IPL 2020 (670 runs). He was also awarded as the Dream 11 Game changer of the season.
KL was retained as the captain by the Punjab Kings ahead of the 2021 IPL season.

Later in 2022, he was bought by Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) as their captain for INR 17 crore. That made him the joint highest paid cricketer in the IPL alongside Virat Kohli.

Rahul led his team to play-offs in the debut season for LSG but ended up losing to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Eliminator.

KL Rahul was retained as the captain for Lucknow Super Giants for 2023 season. Rahul was ruled out of the tournament mid-way after sustaining an injury while fielding in a match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

International Centuries

As of January 2024 KL Rahul has made 17 international centuries – 8 in Test cricket. 7 of them in One-Day Internationals and 2 in T20Is. KL Rahul is the only Indian player to score a century on his ODI debut. He is also the first batter to score a century in T20Is while playing at 4th or lower batting position.

Short Biography of KL Rahul, an Indian International Cricketer

NameKL Rahul
Full NameKannur Lokesh Rahul
Date of BirthApril 18, 1992
Place of BirthMangalore, Karnataka, India
RoleRight-handed batsman
Playing StyleBatsman, occasional wicket-keeper
TeamsIndia (national team), Karnataka, Kings XI Punjab (IPL), etc.
Test DebutDecember 26, 2014, against Australia
ODI DebutJune 11, 2016, against Zimbabwe
T20I DebutJune 18, 2016, against Zimbabwe
Major Achievements– Scored a century on Test debut
– Fastest fifty by an Indian in T20 Internationals
– Numerous match-winning performances in domestic and international cricket

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