Rahul Tripathi Displays Incredible Versatility to Finally Get his Due: IPL 2022

Rahul Tripathi shows his flexibility as he looks to strengthen SRh’s middle-order.

In an age of specialist batters, Rahul Tripathi finds himself in a different position. Generally, teams have pick batters on their ability to bat in different stages of the game and against certain types of bowlers. For instance, the likes of Andre Russell generally come in to take on the pacers in the last five, while a player like David Warner sticks to opening, starts well against pace and moves his innings once settled against spin. There has also been collapse specialists in the past with players like Virat Kohli or a Kane Williamson coming in to hold one end out.

With various specialist roles, Rahul Tripathi comes under a different category which was not long ago held by another talent in the form of Suryakumar Yadav. Rahul Tripathi started his IPL career as an opener in the rising Pune Supergiant. He then went on to bat in the middle-order for Rajasthan as the Royals had a lot of opening options, and was used as a floater for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

He is one of the few players who has as good a strike-rate against spin as he does against pace. That proves as an indicator that the kind of bowling coming in at him doesn’t faze him much. Being able to play both kinds of bowling with ease, and attack both gives him the next advantage. He can bat at almost any stage of the innings. Over his career, Rahul Tripathi has been used as an opener, middle-overs enforcer and a finisher with equal success in each position.

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He has a high strike-rate in his first ten balls, making him a quick starter. He hasn’t faced too many deliveries in the death but his 42 balls in that phase saw him score at a high rate making him look like a handy finisher.

His versatility in multiple stages is what makes him a underrated but highly sought player. He was bought for a whopping 8.5 crores and is one of the best uncapped players in the league at this stage. His versatility though is what makes Rahul Tripathi a touch unnoticed. Batting at different stages, Rahul Tripathi often doesn’t get a chance to bat too long. That is a reason behind the lack of personal milestones, as Rahul Tripathi is often in to attack and score at a quick pace.

Scoring runs at a quick pace is why Rahul Tripathi found success with the Knight Riders. At Kolkata, he started as a finisher but then moved up the order. His style of attacking from the word go is what made him an indispensable asset in a deep batting line-up. The mindset is also a factor behind KKRs lack of centurions since Brendan McCullum scored his in 2008.

In this season, Rahul Tripathi is making use of his price tag nicely. He is coming in during the middle-overs, given a stable position in the line-up and making his chances count. Five games in and Rahul Tripathi has an average of 57, a strike-rate of 178 ad 171 runs. He has found an able partner in Aiden Markaram as both have combined well to form a couple of decent partnerships in run-chases for SRH. With both doing well and Nicholas Pooran around as well, the weak SRH middle order in the past is now their strong point.

His knock against KKR was an example of his ability. Facing the pace of Cummins, Tripathi used the dimensions of the ground well and attack fine leg nicely. He also bought out his signature flick through mid-wicket while taking on Andre Russell on other occasions. While facing the major threats in KKR, Rahul Tripathi discovered methods to negate Varun Chakravarthy.

He shifted gears effortlessly and was on his way very soon in the run chase. The changing of gears where in typical Tripathi manner as Rahul Tripathi looked unfazed against pace and spin. His middle order ability is giving SRH a strong boost as they have some wonderful talents in the line-up and have a strong chance of extending their win streak.