Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul has hailed his team’s impressive eight-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders as a ‘complete team performance. KXIP beat the fellow playoff hopefuls to register their fifth win on the trot and sixth of the season to move to the fourth spot.
Chasing 150, KXIP crossed the finishing line with ease in the 19th over. Mandeep Singh, who has been opening the innings in Mayank Agarwal’s absence, starred with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 66 while veteran Chris Gayle continued his good form with the bat, scoring 51.
Speaking after the game, KL Rahul said his team never lost the belief despite losing six of its opening seven games. He then lavished praise on his teammates, saying everything was executed perfectly against the Kolkata-based outfit.
“We decided to play positive cricket. We believed that things can turn around. A complete team performance. Batting looking good, bowling looking good, fielding has always been good,” said KL Rahul.
The KXIP skipper further lauded Mandeep who recently lost his father but has been putting up a brave face for the team’s cause. The right-handed batsman concluded by admitting that dropping Gayle initially was a ‘very hard decision’ before saying that the veteran is looking ‘the hungriest’ he has even seen him.
“With the bubble, you don’t have your closed ones. The way he (Mandeep) played, it makes everyone emotional. When you have Anil Kumble as the coach, it’s not surprising that we have two leg-spinners. Complete team effort, a lot of credit has to go to the coaches,” said KL Rahul.
“It was a very hard decision not to play him (Chris). This is the hungriest I have ever seen him. He’s always positive, pushing the youngsters. We have Chris in the dressing room. Just his presence means a lot to us,” he added.