KL Rahul, post a nine-wicket victory over Mumbai, has insisted that the Punjab Kings are slowly coming together as a team while stating that he doesn’t want his side to get ahead of themselves. Rahul also backed his decision of chasing, adding that Ravi Bishnoi has worked immensely hard in the nets.
Despite missing out on a play-off spot last season, Punjab Kings made a conscious decision of adding depth across the board in the setup. While they won the first game and blinked in several after, they came back roaring in form, with the nine-wicket win over Mumbai. Against MI, right from the bowling performance, Punjab left no stone unturned, with their immaculate team display.
In the post-match presentation, Punjab’s skipper and player of the match, KL Rahul insisted that he doesn’t want Punjab to get too ahead of themselves. Rahul also, however, admitted that the team has been coming together nicely and insisted that they are a young team, keen on improvement.
“We don't wanna get too ahead of ourselves, we're slowly coming together as a team. I said this after the first game as well, we're a young team. We add new names every year and we've to be patient. Hooda has been playing really well, Shahrukh's taken his opportunities, and Bishnoi today,” Rahul stated in the post-match presentation.
While most franchises have opted to bat first, KL Rahul followed David Warner and opted to chase on what was a tricky and sticky surface. Rahul insisted that the decision behind chasing was to give the bowlers a great launchpad to employ their best effort with the ball, given that dew would come into play.
“Me and coach did have a long chat about batting second, I felt that the wicket was sticky and the first few games we've batted and felt that the bowlers were always under pressure. I felt it was important that bowlers get to bowl in those conditions and we heard that there was a lot of dew. So I felt like it can ease up and come on better - that didn't happen, but we knew what to chase and that helped.”
However, Punjab were given a short scare in the middle, when Krunal Pandya turned the ball away from Rahul after the ball was replaced with a drier one. Rahul added that it was when the experience of Chris Gayle helped the franchise, in chasing down the target.
“The dry ball did play a big part, it just started ripping. When that happens it gets real hard to even get singles. But it was good of Chris, he figured out who to target, that's the benefit of having someone like him.”
Finally, this season, the franchise opted to play Ravi Bishnoi, after the leg-spinner hadn’t been named in the playing XI for the first four games of the season. Rahul credited the leg-spinner, who picked up 2/21, adding that he has worked really hard in the nets, with Anil Kumble.
"Ravi's been working real hard with Anil bhai, there were a few things he had to correct, and he's worked really hard and he's held his composure against a solid batting line-up.”