Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul praised young pacer Arshdeep Singh after the latter defended 14 off the final over to hand Punjab a thrilling win in the IPL 2020 encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Saturday. “Arsh, the way he’s bowled in pressure situations will give him a lot of confidence,” said Rahul after the match.
“[Arshdeep] the work’s done behind the scene. Me and the coaching team, before the tournament began, discussed what are the things we’d need for the bowlers. I was hoping we didn’t give anything above 40 in the first six, so I was positive and the team was positive,” he added.
In a stunning collapse, Hyderabad lost 7 for 14, starting with the wicket of Manish Pandey. Needing 17 off 12, Chris Jordan and Arshdeep applied a chokehold as Punjab successfully defended the lowest total in this edition of the IPL. On the narrow win, Rahul said, “We are making it a habit. Winning is a habit, which we didn’t find in the first half.
“Honestly, I’m speechless. Everybody’s chipped in. Low-scoring games is when you realise the importance of those 10-15 runs scored by batsmen, those diving stops and those tight overs. The work done is always behind the scenes. Not just the players but the support team. You can’t change a lot in two months but all these guys have pushed the boys to be better and better.”
Rahul revealed how the think-tank didn’t let the morale drop even when they had their backs against the wall. “When we were sitting at the bottom of the table we didn’t panic. We kept scrapping and we’re really happy that the wins are coming. I think after Mandeep and I played the first over itself we knew it wasn’t going to be a high-scoring pitch. We were thinking 160-170. The openers have the freedom to score.”
David Warner took defeat in his stride after Hyderabad slipped from 56 no loss to 114 all-out. “Yeah, it does hurt,” he said. “Just got to forget this game and move on. We have to start again next match.”
He praised the bowlers for their disciplined approach. “Our bowlers did a fantastic job to restrict them. We bowled well with the new ball, didn’t get wickets at the start [but ended well].”