By Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin,
We have had an amazing time at Mohali and I am glad we were able to cap off an unbeaten run at the venue. The IS Bindra stadium was always packed with fans which is testimony to the fact that the people there really love their cricket. It was quite special to treat them to some exciting cricket.
Having said that, I believe that we aren’t dependant on a particular ground in order to win. We have a good team and Thursday’s win after setting a target has given us confidence that we can win under any conditions.
We had two contrasting victories at Mohali recently, the one against Chennai Super Kings, which was a nail biter that came down to the wire, and the one against Sunrisers Hyderabad where we put in a complete performance with both bat and ball to win comfortably. The difference, I feel, is that against the Sunrisers we chose to bat first because there was no dew, so there was a lot less pressure. We had a lot of fire power in our ranks and I think we used it well.
One player who I have to credit is the Universe Boss Chris Gayle. He batted beautifully. Unlike many other players, Chris doesn’t need to put in too many hard yards to get himself in. He can just punch the ball and it reaches the boundary. He has his own style of playing and when he manages to pull it off it looks brilliant. He is an impact player. Many people look up to him and he doesn’t stop entertaining. The fear factor that he puts in the opponents’ minds is great and I think that works to our advantage.
Another youngster who has been playing really well is Barinder Sran. We were forced to make a change to the squad because of Axar’s injury but full credit to Barinder for grabbing the opportunity he got with both hands. The left arm angle is always important and Barinder allows us to get that factor into our game. Axar Patel’s unfortunate injury gave us a chance to try out Barinder but I guess it worked to our advantage because we now have a number of options on the table.
We are now going to be hitting the road for a while and hopefully we will travel smart. Away games are never easy so if we manage to get a few points during this time it will be great.
We have a good, strong core of 12 or 13 personnel who we can use on a particular day. Ultimately the decisions on who will play are very instinctive and last minute depending on the conditions we are facing. That has been a strategy we have followed so far and it has worked for us.
We are also looking forward to playing in our next home venue, Indore. We have been playing some really explosive cricket for our fans and I hope our fans from Indore back us as well.