Photo: SportzPics

Kings XI Punjab slumped to a heartbreaking loss yesterday against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi, as they fell agonizingly short of the target in the end, losing by two runs. The defeat keeps the 2014 IPL finalists at the bottom of the table, with one win out of their first seven games. 

While from the outside things may look grim at the Kings XI Punjab camp, captain KL Rahul remained optimistic even after the game, and was all praise for the bowling unit of Punjab. The KXIP bowlers did a stellar job yesterday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, restricting KKR to a score of 164/4 despite Dinesh Karthik’s onslaught in the middle overs. 

“I think we bowled really, really well. It is a fresh strip so we did not know what were the good lines and lengths, so it was good to see the bowlers adapt really early. This is what we have been asking the bowlers to do, to try and swing the ball early and get a couple of wickets in the powerplay, that is the only way to stop teams from scoring 180+,” said Rahul in the post match interview. 

“They were brave in the death as well, they kept mixing it up and weren’t shy to bowl a bouncer or a wide yorker to bluff the batsmen, and that is what we asked of the bowlers,” he added. Rahul’s words were supported by his opening partner Mayank Agarwal, who spoke highly on youngsters Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh. 

“Ravi Bishnoi has been fantastic, he has been bowling really well, showing great character. He has a big heart and whenever you throw the ball to him, he is there and thereabouts,” said Agarwal in the post match press conference. 

“He closed the innings for us against SRH and he is doing the same thing again, so it is really nice to see the young guys coming out and putting in those performances,” added Agarwal, this time speaking about Arshdeep Singh. 

Kings XI Punjab may be bottom of the table currently, but with seven games to go, the team is still very much in the tournament, and remains optimistic for a better second half of the competition.