It was a typical Mahendra Singh Dhoni finish at the end. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) couldn’t hold on to their chances as Rajasthan Royals (RR) qualified for the playoffs. Punjab could only manage to score 153 as they were bowled out with two balls to spare. Karun Nair top-scored for his side with a gutsy 54.
Apart from Karun Nair, Manoj Tiwary and David Miller scored 35 and 24 respectively.
It was yet another poor display of batting by a side that had dominated the league during its initial days. The openers had a rare failure and the middle order failed to stand up.
Post the five-wicket win, Dhoni spoke on the plan to promote Harbhajan Singh and Deepak Chahar up the order. He kept it simple and said he went for the biggie in the last over as the fielders were brought in.
“If you see the bowling line up it was swinging a bit. In a game like this, you want to take a lot of wickets while it is swinging. So with Bhajji and Chahar going in – it creates a bit of chaos. With proper batsmen the bowlers are consistent, somehow to lower order players they try the bouncers, off-cutters, etc. [About the finish] All the fielders were up so I went for the big shot.” Dhoni said.
On the franchise, he said the players have performed on a consistent basis. He also credited the support staff and the members for keeping the team as a solid unit.
“We have a set of people who are very close to the players, that makes it very easy for the captain. Also, we have a really good team. Right from the first edition, we kept adding players and they kept performing – Ashwin, Bollinger, Mohit.” he said.
Dhoni also said that the main challenge will be in two years from now when the set up will change.
“The big challenge will be in two years when most of the players won’t be around. We like to do the process right because that’s what gives you the result. I remember the finals, where it went wrong: you need to remember where it went wrong. On that particular day, you have to be at the best coz everyone wants to win. All of those things matter,” Dhoni concluded.