KXIP’s dream of qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2014 were prematurely quashed last night by a resolute Chennai Super Kings, who picked up a nine-wicket victory at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. CSK’s win spells the end of KXIP’s 2020 Dream11 Indian Premier League campaign, as they unfortunately end the league stages stuck at 12 points.
“It does hurt to not qualify. We have done really, really well to give ourselves a chance to qualify and yeah, there’s a lot to be proud of for us as a team,” revealed KL Rahul in the post-match interview.
“This defeat will hurt for a little while but we need to take the learnings and come back stronger next year,” added the KXIP skipper.
On the game itself, Rahul admitted that they were a few runs shy of the target they had in mind, and that in hindsight cost them the game. “It was a good wicket to bat on, but we couldn’t really get partnerships going, and in a crunch game like this, a big total of 180-190 would have been really nice to defend,” revealed the opening batsman.
Despite the loss ending their 2020 IPL season, Rahul remains positive about the forthcoming IPL seasons, given the way the youngsters have performed for Kings XI Punjab.
“The youngsters have got a lot of games this season against tough oppositions and high quality batsmen. They have handled the pressure really well, and that’s a great sign for us and a very positive sign for the team and Indian cricket.
“We will keep an eye on the boys and try to work with them. There’s a lot to grow for them. We’ve got some really experienced coaches who will have a chat with them and try and help them improve their skills and get better for next year,” concluded Rahul.