The disappointment was showing in the Kings XI Punjab camp as the side suffered yet another narrow defeat in the Indian Premier League — this time, against Kolkata Knight Riders.
And the team’s opening batsman, Mayank Agarwal, admitted that it was a bitter pill to swallow. “We just lost wickets at the crucial time. It was not easy for the new batsmen to come and score. We had to pay for it,” Agarwal, who scored 56 on Saturday, said.
Chasing 156, Kings XI were in a comfortable position as the two openers — Agarwal and K. L. Rahul — forged a 115-run stand. But things fizzled out in the last couple of overs. The cricketing fraternity was surprised to see the elevation of Prabhsimran Singh at No.4 — ahead of Glenn Maxwell and Mandeep Singh. And that move backfired as the youngster struggled under pressure.
“On the hindsight, we can think about a lot of things, but it’s a tough and bitter pill to swallow. It’s hard,” Agarwal said.
Talking about young spinner Ravi Bishnoi — who has been a consistent performer — Agarwal said: “He has been fantastic, he has been bowling really well. He has shown character and has a big heart. Whenever you give him the ball, he is always ready to take the aggressive option. It’s nice to have guys coming in and being brave…”
Even though Rahul and Agarwal have been scoring regular runs, the team has struggled in the middle-order. So, is it short of a genuine batsman — who can hold fort?
“The talk in the dressing room is that the guys who are playing well and scoring well, need to score well, that’s what we are looking to do. Both of us are batting really well and we are putting in the scores…” Agarwal said.
KXIP is reeling at the bottom of the points table and its chances of making it to the playoffs look slim.