Ashwin was all praise for Rahul, but stressed that there are a lot of areas that need to be improved upon. “We have some chinks in our armour. This win, we were tested. One of our batters stayed through to the end so pretty happy with that. Most of our wins have been set up by the bowlers and that’s been pleasing,” he said.
“We know one department is firing on all cylinders. We can play Indian seamers and we can get a foreign batter. The thing is many of our Indian batsmen are inexperienced and they’ll get better. I came in with an open mind as captain, I just wanted to gauge the team and get the best of them. Mostly a captain’s job is setting the field and shuffling the bowlers and planning the right batting order. Bowlers will keep getting hit in T20s. The ones who get hit this game will help me win the next,” said Ashwin.
KL Rahul kept his composure and record his highest IPL score as he made an unbeaten 84 to guide Kings XI Punjab to a six wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.
Though set a modest 153 to chase, Rajasthan tried their best with the ball but in the end it wasn't enough as Rahul's class proved to be the difference between the two teams. Jofra Archer removed in-form Chris Gayle (8) early, thus exposing a vulnerable Kings XI middle-order rather early.
Mayank Agarwal didn't last long either as his poor run with the bat continued. Karun Nair then got together with Rahul to put up 50 runs for the third wicket stand between the two. Axar Patel's promotion up the order didn't pay off for Punjab as he too departed cheaply for 4.
Royals bowlers kept things tight, not giving away any easy runs. But it was always difficult to keep a well set Rahul quiet for long. He targeted Unadkat and Archer - two of the best bowlers for Rajasthan - hitting them for 15 and 16 respectively to help Kings XI reach home with 8 balls to spare. Stokes (1/22), Gowtham (1/18) and Anureet Singh (1/20) were among the wickets for the Royals.
However, it was their poor batting after being put into bat which was a major letdown for the team.
First Published: May 7, 2018, 11:21 AM IST