Anil Kumble, head coach of Punjab Kings, revealed that Ravi Bishnoi didn’t seem to be at his best at the start of the IPL 2021 and hence wasn’t included in the first 4 matches. KL Rahul’s side suffered 3 defeats in their first 4 matches, and the exclusion of Bishnoi was surprising considering his impressive debut season last year.
However, the 20-year-old leg-spinner was drafted in the side against the Mumbai Indians on Friday in Chennai, and made an immediate impact dismissing Ishan Kishan in his first over; he got another big wicket of the set Suryakumar Yadav. Bishnoi returned with figures of 2/21, as Punjab registered their second win of the season.
Anil Kumble said that he worked with the youngsters on some technical aspects as a bowler as well as on his “commitment” and “focus” that needed to be sorted out. The former India captain is happy with the way Bishnoi fared against Mumbai.
“Bish (Bishnoi) played all the matches in the last season… when he came here, I thought he was not the same bowler we had seen last year. I worked on his run-up and a few other things because he was drifting down the leg side even in practice games. That’s why he didn’t start the tournament earlier,” Anil Kumble said after Punjab’s 9-wicket win in Chenai.
“But, I think, over the last week or so, his commitment, his focus is now sorted; he’s back. It’s wonderful to see him (bowl so well). He’s always a competitor; you can see that. And to pick up a couple of wickets in an important game like this is great,” he added.
I’m Happy With The Win, It Will Give A Lot Of Confidence To All Of Us: Anil Kumble
The 50-year-old is pleased with Punjab’s all-round performance: the bowlers restricted a strong Mumbai batting line-up to a sub-par total, and the batters chased it down without any major hiccup.
Anil Kumble was effusive in praise of the batters, who despite a middling target, worked hard for every run against a challenging MI bowling attack on a difficult surface – especially after their dismal batting show against Sunrisers Hyderabad where they scored just 120 runs.
“I’m happy with the win, it’s not an easy pitch to play on and to adapt to the conditions. After the SRH (Sunrisers Hyderabad) loss, where we thought we could have put another 15-20 runs on the board which would have sort of helped us cross the line, we are happy we did it today,” the legendary spinner said.
Kumble believes a win over Mumbai will give the side immense confidence as they leave Chennai and travel to Ahmedabad. Punjab moves up to the 5th spot on the points table and will next face Eoin Mogan’s Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday.
“Yes, it will give a lot of confidence to all of us (defeating Mumbai); Mayank (Agarwal) and (KL) Rahul putting up that 40-plus partnership and then the Universe Boss (Chris Gayle) and Rahul finishing things off. Overall, really happy that things went well and now we’re looking forward to the next leg in Ahmedabad,” he maintained.