It has been a tale of two halves for Kings XI Punjab this season. They justified their pre-tournament favourites tag with an impressive start. They looked certain to make it to the playoffs easily after winning 5 of the first seven games. 13 games later, they are staring down the barrel and are in dangerous of missing out on a playoff spot.
Their fortunes took a turn for the worse after they returned from a week-long break on May 4. They lost four matches on the trot with just a solitary win against Rajasthan. And now their fate is not in their hands.
The poor run has put them in a spot where they don’t have their fate in their own hands. On Sunday, they will be playing their final league game against Chennai Super Kings. While a loss will end their season, a win will not be enough to assure them a playoff spot. They will have to hope that other results go their way too.
Speaking ahead of the game, head coach Brad Hodge said that it was not easy for the ‘new team’ to win consistently. He also admitted that the middle-order has failed to fire.
“I think this competition is extremely tough to win consistently over a long period of time. We are a new team with a new captain and we have learnt a lot from lessons of success and failure,” he said.
“I think realistically, our middle order hasn’t fired as much we would have expected and we are too reliant on a couple of bowlers who have kept us in the game,” he added.
Hodge also admitted that the team was not consistent in the tournament.
“We haven’t had consistency across the whole IPL, where when our match-winners haven’t fired, nobody has been able to pick up the pieces. So, for us, I don’t think it’s going wrong, we have won 7 games like most other teams, if we would have managed to get over the line in couple other close ones then we would have been where we wanted to be but unfortunately, it didn’t happen,” the former Australian batsman said.
Hodge further rued that the team does not have its fate in its own hands.
“It’s difficult. What we will be doing will be watching and waiting for the next 24 hours to see the results of other games. We have unfortunately left ourselves in this position,” he rued.
“At the halfway mark we were in a strong position but we have tight losses and now we are in position where we have to watch other teams but we will go about our business today in same fashion, and hope we get a chance tomorrow (afternoon) to make an impact,” the head coach added.