Even while lauding Harbhajan Singh for his big hitting in their IPL cricket tournament encounter, Kings XI skipper George Bailey said his team deserved to win by a bigger margin for the way his bowlers delivered earlier in the IPL game.
“One of us was going to end up with two losses (on the trot). It was nice to be on the winning side. It was beautiful striking by Bhajji but I felt we deserved to win by more runs,” Bailey said at the post-match media conference.
“After all, we bowled so well at the start and it would have been nice to make it a 50-run victory or so. I thought we deserved that,” said the Australian after his team’s 18-run victory.
Chasing Kings XI Punjab’s imposing 177 for 5, MI were tottering at 25 for 4 and then 59 for 6 when veteran off spinner Harbhajan played a blinder and used the long handle to a good effect smacking 6 sixes and 5 fours in his 24 ball-64, which helped the home team finish with a final tally of 159 for 7 at the Wankhede Stadium.
“Our bowlers will learn a lot on how they bowled tonight and what happened in the end. Already they are talking about how they could have done it differently. A lot of this is just about composure. In T20 cricket anyone can hit,” Bailey provided his observation on the match.
“Anureet (Singh) was our best bowler the other night (against Royals). Tonight he got hit a little bit. James Faulkner was Rajasthan’s best bowler against us. Today he got hit a little bit (against Delhi Daredevils). It’s the nature of the game,” explained Bailey, who was unlucky to play only one match during Australia’s victorious World Cup campaign.
Bailey made 61, the team’s top score, but did not see himself coming in to bat ahead of compatriot Glen Maxwell or the left-handed David Miller of South Africa.
“I am not going to bat ahead of Maxwell and Miller. We have a structured way by which we bat. We did not do that against Rajasthan. We learned our lesson and I am pretty happy with the way we batted,” said the 32-year-old Tasmanian.
Bailey was quick to defend his younger compatriot Maxwell who was caught in the deep for 6 off a top edged slog off the bowling of debutant MI left arm spinner J Suchith.
“We give a lot of freedom to Maxwell and he deserves it as he’s one of the best strikers of the ball. The challenge for him is to pick the balls to hit, as it is with all of us. He will win a lot of games for us than he loses,” the Kings XI skipper said.
Bailey was also full of praise for his new ball bowler Sandeep Sharma, who had the most economical figures of 1 for 12 in the four bowlers that he bowled on the trot at the beginning of the MI run chase.
“He’s just picked up some pace; that’s pleasing to watch. He had a back injury at the end of last season and missed a little bit. The beauty of what he does is that he swings the ball late and creates opportunities (even) on batting wickets,” the Australian said.