Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul was relieved to see his team finally get over the line comfortably but said the top-four batsmen must consistently close out games in the remainder of their Indian Premier League campaign. Punjab have often struggled to finish games from comfortable positions in this IPL. For a change, it was a straightforward chase for Kings XI against Delhi Capitals on Tuesday despite a rare failure from their opening pair of Rahul – 15 and Mayank Agarwal – 5. Also Read - India vs Australia: Wouldn't call my batting power-hitting, says KL Rahul
Nicholas Pooran slammed 53 runs during his team’s chase, with Glenn Maxwell also notching 32 from 24 balls. Maxwell also grabbed the crucial wicket of Rishabh Pant, and conceded 31 runs from four overs. After the match, Punjab skipper Rahul labelled the Australian all-rounder as ‘a great team man’. “Glenn is a great team man. He has been batting well in the nets. It was important to back him. It was good to see him get time in the middle. Hopefully he carries this good work into the coming games,” said the wicketkeeper-batsman. Also Read - KL Rahul Expresses Desire to Keep Wickets For India in Next Three World Cups
The 28-year-old Rahul also lauded his team’s clinical performance versus Delhi but also joked about some close finishes which set his heart racing in this edition of IPL. “My heart keeps reaching new limits every game but yeah it is nice to finish it in the 19th over for once. I did wonder, I won’t lie, especially when you are playing with six batsmen and an all-rounder,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation. Also Read - India vs Australia 2020-21: Virat Kohli to Jasprit Bumrah, Top Five Indian Players to Watch Out For in ODI Series
“It is something every team talks about: the set batsman has to finish off the game. One of the top four does that. We have to correct that,” he added.
KXIP’s bowling unit pulled things back in the death overs to restrict DC to a below-par 164 for five.
In their last match, KXIP had beaten Mumbai Indians via a second Super Over and Rahul said he ‘didn’t sleep a whole lot’ after that game on Sunday night.
“Took a long time to sink in. Kept thinking all night how we could have closed it off before the Super Over. But it keeps us humble, the game is bigger than any of us.”
Shikhar Dhawan – 106, who was awarded the Man of the Match for his historic back-to-back hundred, said he took the onus on himself to do bulk of the scoring after not getting support from the other end.
“I took the responsibility of holding one end up and was also hitting the boundaries when I got the chance. I really enjoyed it today. It is good that I am scoring consistently so you carry it into the next games,” he said.
“We are going to have a discussion and see where we can improve. We have been playing very good quite consistently. This is not going to put us down.”