Kings XI Punjab has lost yesterday against Sunrisers Hyderabad by 45 runs in their 213-run chase. However, to chase this huge total, any team needs a great partnership with a flying start. Punjab was no less than different. Their in-form openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle have decided while one took on the players, another opener would play deep.
“That’s been the team plan. One of me or Chris Gayle look to bat 15-16 overs as deep as possible so the others can play around,” said KL Rahul at the post-match press conference. “That doesn’t mean that you don’t play your shots. I tried my shots a few times, it didn’t come off, few went for boundaries, few hit the fielders.”
Though KL Rahul (79) finished his game with a strike-rate of 141.07, at one time he was on 39 off 36 when the required rate was above 15 runs per over. However, he thought he could stay in the middle if he continued to play at a slow pace as he got a great start and he knew he can score fast later.
“Not always as a batsman you will get off to an amazing start, you don’t get a 20-ball 50 each time,” told Rahul. “Sometimes when you get off to a start like that you have got to make it count but sometimes when you are not finding your touch you have to hang in there. I know that if I am set I can make up for it.
“We couldn’t get enough batting partnerships. We were batting well, unfortunate that each time we tried to take a chance we found a fielder,” he added.
Rahul also backed Punjab’s Mujeeb ur Rahman, who conceded 66 runs in his four overs – highest in this year’s IPL.
“Obviously, anybody who goes for that many runs will be disappointed. Sometimes it is not your day,” said Rahul. “In T20 cricket that happens. Everyday one of the bowlers will get targeted and go for runs. He is a young guy, he has a lot of skill. This is the first time he has gone for so many runs. Before this he has done really really well for Kings XI and yeah one-off game this happens to every bowler. The best of bowlers will get hit for 50-60 runs, you just have to look to bounce back,” Rahul said while talking about Mujeeb.
Punjab used just the five bowlers which somehow cost them the defeat.
“It is not an excuse but there are a few injuries in the team which doesn’t allow us to go with a sixth bowling option or play an all-rounder,” Rahul expressed. “When you are going in with five bowlers, all of them have to bowl four overs each. There is not really a choice.”
“When you have gone with five full-time bowlers, you have to trust them. You expect them to deliver most times but some times it does not happen,” he further added.