Following their 28-run defeat at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL Qualifier 1 in Kolkata on Wednesday, Kings XI Punjab coach Sanjay Bangar said that the frequent drizzle in the middle flustered their batsmen.
Rain interrupted proceedings for 25 minutes when KKR were 113/5 and in KXIP’s pursuit of 164, there were some drizzle and their Bangar said the frequent Duckworth-Lewis equation coupled with the challenge to keep pace with the target hit them hard.
“I just thought, the drizzle really spoil it a bit. I believe 160-odd was a par score on this wicket. Our batsmen got a bit flustered by the rain and lost the momentum midway through the innings. Even while KKR were batting, the rain came down particularly at the right time for our opponents,” Bangar said at the post-match presser.
The KXIP coach further said their batsmen were not up to the mark as none of them could reach even 40 with Wriddhiman Saha being the top-scorer with a 31-ball 35.
“We did not bat the way we’re capable of and not many of our batsman got a score of 40, I think that led to ours’ downfall. There’s however nothing to take away from them. They played better on the day, they deserved to be the winners,” Bangar said.
“They are a good bowling unit because of that they executed their plans really well. It’s a challenge for our batsmen to try and counter that which we could not tonight.”
Defending his decision to bowl in overcast conditions, he said: “I think it’s always better to chase in the rain scenario. It’s just that the Duckworth-Lewis played a bit on the batsmen’s mind in the middle for just two or three overs.”
On Akshar Patel, who got his maiden call-up to the Indian team for the three-match ODI series in Bangladesh, Bangar said the left-arm spinner has to carry on the good show in domestic circuit.
“He’s got a fantastic temperament. He has to go back and carry this form and continue well in domestic circuit for him to be considered at the highest level,” Bangar said of Patel.
The 20-year-old is the leading wicket-taker among the Indian spinners in IPL-7 with 16 from 15 matches.
“He’s a very good talent, and has a lot of confidence. He’s taken up the role of the main spinner for the side. His figures have been fabulous throughout the tournament. All credit to him. He didn’t really have too much of the IPL experience.”
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