Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul showered praise on Deepak Hooda for his phenomenal knock in the game and termed it an 'amazing' knock. He also added that there was no point in the game when he conceded defeat and always believed that a few wickets will bring them back in the game.
Deepak Hooda, arguably, played the IPL knock of his life, as he blasted 64 off 28 deliveries, and helped Punjab post a total of 221 runs on the board. It was a sedate start for KL Rahul-led side after they lost the wicket of Mayank Agarwal early as both Rahul and Chris Gayle took their own time to settle in before going berserk. But, it was the 105-run-stand between Rahul and Deepak Hooda, that propelled Punjab to a commanding total. Hooda played a big role in that as there was a point of time when he had hit five sixes in space of seven deliveries with PBKS pocketing 40 runs off two overs.
KL Rahul was very happy with Hooda's knock and added that it's the kind of innings that's needed as there have been times when the side have been tentative in their approach. He also had praise for Arshdeep Singh, who turned the match on its head in the final over, defending 13 with a set Sanju Samson at the crease.
"A lot of talented, skilful players, and it's important that we back them. It was an amazing innings from Hooda, and that's the kind of fearless batting we want to see in the IPL. We have been tentative sometimes, and it's important for us to play fearlessly at times, so I am happy that the expectations are being understood and met. Gayle and Hooda were both good that way. I always go to Arshdeep for crucial overs and he enjoys the pressure. He loves being in the contest and I love throwing him the ball, and he trusts himself and trusts his skills, so that's always good to see," KL Rahul said in the post-match presentation.
One of the reasons behind PBKS' poor show in the second innings was poor fielding as they dropped quite a few chances. In fact, KL Rahul, the captain himself, had dropped a sitter in the fourth over of the innings to give a life to Sanju Samson, which proved costly for the side. Rahul rued the dropped chances but insisted that at no point, he gave up on the hope of a win.
"I didn't stop believing in the team, and we knew a couple of wickets will bring us back. The game went deep only because me included, we dropped some sitters. We bowled well until about 11-12 overs. We're used to this, and it's not something new for us, but a win like this brings the team together. We batted really well and bowled well in patches. We weren't consistent with the lengths but the bowlers will learn."