KL Rahul has insisted that he had never seen Chris Gayle so hungry for runs in his career and added that it was really a tough decision not to play him from the beginning, Rahul has also added that it was a complete team performance that led to the ongoing Kings XI Punjab resurgence.
Chris Gayle brought the memories of the yore back to the lap with an innings of rich audacity. Not only he batted with freedom that defined his legacy as the ultimate superstar in the format, he ensured Punjab didn’t have to break a sweat in order to beat KKR. KL Rahul was a majestic admirer of the man from Jamaica and stated that this was the hungriest he had ever seen him play.
“Complete team effort, a lot of credit has to go to the coaches. It was a very hard decision not to play him (Chris). This is the hungriest I have ever seen him. He's always positive, pushing the youngsters. We have Chris in the dressing room. Just his presence means a lot to us. When we started five games ago, we knew we had to win all the games. One game at a time, keep the confidence going and keep the energy going,” Rahul said in the post-match presentation.
After winning just one game at the half-way mark of the league stage, Punjab seemed to be at the pole position to grab the wooden spoon but what a journey it has been thus after. They have beaten DC, MI, RCB, SRH & KKR to get to the fourth spot with the play-offs qualification scenario peaking at a rapid pace. And they can now cause upset to reach the play-offs by just winning their two remaining games against RR and CSK without any NRR hassle. Rahul praised the squad for the turn-around while reserving special mention for bereaved Mandeep Singh who played a knock of substance despite going through a difficult time.
“We decided to play positive cricket. We believed that things can turn around. A complete team performance. Batting is looking good, bowling is looking good, fielding has always been good. With the bubble, you don't have your closed ones. The way he (Mandeep) played, it makes everyone emotional,” Rahul concluded.