By Kings XI Punjab coach Brad Hodge,
As coach of Kings XI Punjab, I am delighted with the way our team has been performing so far. I’ve always believed that if you start a competition well and build good momentum it will help you at the back end. Our three home wins at Mohali have been the most pleasing for me. We really made our home ground a tough proposition for our opponents.
When you win a few games, everything appears to be a little more settled and everyone’s secure. We have a great team spirit and energy around the team right now. Fingers crossed, we’ll just try and maintain that over the course of the league. We’ve been on a tough road trip, first to Kolkata, then Delhi, and now to Hyderabad. This will be a testing little period for us but I’m confident that the team will stick together and perform well.
What you came here for
One of the things we promote in the team is enjoying yourself and having fun. We have a storytelling session before every game and every practice where there have been quite a few humorous stories shared. One of the funniest was by Yuvraj Singh talking about the day Pune Warriors played against RCB when Chris Gayle scored 175. Of course, Aaron Finch was there, and I cannot elaborate on the story too much but certainly, a lot of us guys got a lot of humour out of that.
Personally, there was something funny that happened with me as well. During one of my days in Mohali when we went to a mall, I was hungry and asked someone what sort of chicken there is since usually I take chicken mixed with potatoes. But even after a lot of explaining I didn’t get an answer. So yeah, I had to learn about chicken. That is one thing I don’t think I will ever forget to say, ‘I want some chicken’ in Punjabi. “Maenu chicken chaahida hai!”
A talented youngster
Coming back to cricket, one youngster from the team who has particularly impressed me has been Barinder Sran. He is an extremely talented cricketer and he was easily our best-performing bowler in our practice sessions before the tournament. So it’s no surprise that he’s done well in the VIVO Indian Premier League.
We just need to make sure he keeps up that performance. In Kings XI Punjab, it doesn’t matter what age bracket you are in, if you perform well you will be given a chance to play. Though we try an ensure that there’s a good mix of youthful energy and experience, it’s all about making sure the balance is perfect at the end of the day.
The way forward
In a league like the IPL, there are always areas of your game you want to improve. For us, I think the fielding can improve a little bit. We’ve got to take our catches. We put a couple down in the last couple of games and that could be costly. That is something we need to touch on.
I think we’ve addressed areas in our bowling which I think we can improve so I think from here on in that’ll happen. The important thing for us is that the Boss is firing at the top and that makes life a lot easier for everyone else.
From Mohali to Indore
Finally, to all the fans of KXIP, I just want to say, ‘thank you’. I think the crowd was fantastic at the home venue in Mohali and I highly anticipate that Indore will certainly get behind this team. It’s an exciting team and we play a brand of cricket which is conducive to the fans getting their money’s worth. So, I’m looking forward to treating out Indore fans to more of the same.