Winning skipper KL Rahul was very happy with the win over Bangalore and had a special word of praise for veteran Chris Gayle as he feels he has a huge impact on the team. After playing yet another blinder against the Royal Challengers, Rahul asserted that he needed to lead from the front.
Just when you think Chris Gayle’s end is near, he surprises with a remarkable knock. Today, he made 46 off 24 and started taking the mickey out of the Bangalore bowlers right from the start of what was an outstanding knock. He made sure that Punjab got off to a decent start in the powerplay despite Rahul adding just 18 off 21 in the first six overs. Gayle hammered five boundaries in the sixth over of the game, which was delivered by a hapless Kyle Jamieson and helped Punjab make 49 in the first six overs.
KL Rahul, who got breathing space early on, thanks to Gayle, was full of praise for the 41-year-old as he revealed that Gayle has a big impact on the side.
"There is a lot written about Gayle, about his age and whether he should be playing. But I know as a captain, just his impact he has when he walks out is huge. I have played with him for 7-8 years and he keeps getting better and better. He is batting at three, something he hasn't done ever in his career, but he'll do that for the team. That's the kind of man Chris is. He takes pressure off me at the top," Rahul said in the post-match presentation.
One of the stand-out performers from the game for the Kings was Harpreet Brar. He first scored 25 off 17 with the bat and then broke the back of Bangalore's batting, taking the prized scalps of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. Rahul, speaking on Harpreet, remarked that he was being groomed for this wicket as the management felt they needed a finger spinner at this venue.
"We were preparing Brar. On a pitch like this, we felt like we needed a finger spinner who could hit hard lengths. He did exactly that and batted really well in the end as well. I am young myself, but I have been trying to speak to the boys and pass on whatever experience I have of IPL and international cricket. They are blessed with enormous talent and we have to prepare them for the situations and the pressures they'd face in the middle as the captain and the support staff. Really makes me and the support staff very happy."
The win also witnessed a great fifty from the bat of KL Rahul as he carried the whole batting unit on his shoulders. After taking a slow start, unlike Virat Kohli and Rajat Patidar, the Punjab skipper ensured to finish with a bang. His knock propelled the Kings to 179. Rahul said all that he was trying to do in the middle was to lead the team from the front.
"There is nothing in particular against RCB, but all matches against them have been must win games for us because of when they come in the tournament. It was important for me to lead from the front and that's what I try to do every game. When I have the opportunity to put pressure on bowlers and set targets, I try to do it to the best of my ability. It came off well today."