Kings XI Punjab’s Sheldon Cottrell, who bounced back on Thursday with a fine performance after getting pasted in Sharjah, has claimed that he did not feel that it was a blunder to make K Gowtham bowl the last over. The decision backfired, though, as the offie conceded 25 runs off the last over.
After a forgettable night at Sharjah, particularly at the death with the ball in hand, all eyes were on the Kings XI Punjab bowlers in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. A wicket-maiden from Sheldon Cottrell in the very first over set the tone for KL Rahul’s side, but, once again, Punjab faltered at the death as Mumbai scored a mind-boggling 104 runs off the last 6 overs. The leakage of runs was fuelled by a tactical blunder from skipper Rahul, who bowled off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham in the final over of the innings, which ended up going for a staggering 25 runs.
The decision came under scrutiny, but speaking in the post-match press conference, Cottrell, pick of the Punjab bowlers who was bowled out by Rahul in just the 13th over, claimed that he was fully supportive of the Karnataka lad’s decision. The left-armer noted that it was a move that simply didn’t pay off on the day, and further revealed he and his teammates have been working hard on getting it right at the death.
“Honestly, I back my skipper 110%. Whatever his decision is, I’m gonna back it. It was a decision he felt was best for the team. It didn’t work today, unfortunately, but on another day I’m sure it will work,” Cottrell said in the post-match press conference, speaking of the move to bowl Gowtham in the last over.
"I have been working hard on death bowling, and so have my bowling partners. We’re getting there and we’ve been learning from our mistakes and practicing it on the training grounds. I’m sure we’re going to pull it off very soon. I wouldn’t say worrying, it’s just a matter of time for us,” he said, when asked if Punjab’s bowling at the death was a concern.
Kings XI, on Thursday, became the nth team to fall for the trap of ‘winning the toss and chasing’ as after Mumbai posted 191/4 batting first, the 2014 finalists had no answer to the questions that were posed. Cottrell, however, defended Punjab’s decision at the toss and suggested that the choice made at the toss usually has little effect on the outcome of matches.
“Cricket is a game of great uncertainty. Winning the toss is a 50-50 probability, so winning the toss and batting or bowling first doesn’t really matter. It’s on the teams to go out there and do their best and play good cricket. The best team on the day will come out victorious.”
After enduring a forgettable night in Sharjah, where he conceded 30 runs off one over to Rahul Tewatia, Cottrell bounced back on Thursday with an exquisite spell, finishing with figures of 1/20 on a night which saw all his teammates concede over 9 runs per over. The 31-year-old expressed satisfaction over his performance and further assured that his Kings XI side will bounce back strongly in the games to follow.
“My comeback was excellent from my part. My confidence was always there. But I wish my bowling effort could have helped Kings XI cross the line. I’m feeling pleased about my performance.
“We have a great bunch of guys. Coaching staff and Anil have been excellent. As KL said earlier, it could have easily been 3/4 games won. Unfortunately we have won only 1, but I know that we will bounce back. We are family, we live as one and we know we will bounce back.”
KXIP will now travel to Dubai, where they will take on Chennai Super Kings in a feisty clash on Sunday, September 4, double-header day.