Ravichandran Ashwin-led Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) succumbed to a comprehensive 7-wicket defeat in the do-or-die encounter against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Friday. The home team recorded an imposing first innings total due to Sam Curran’s brilliant half-century knock. While in the second innings, KKR young opener Shubman Gill compiled a splendid innings to stand tall and steered his team to a comfortable win. With this victory, KKR have kept their playoffs hopes very much alive, while KXIP have been knocked out of the tournament.
The powerplay bowling and batting has been weak link says Ravichandran Ashwin
After the game, KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin addressed the media reporters in the post- match press conference and revealed that this season their bowling as well as batting has been the weaker area. The problem from the batting perspective for KXIP has been the over-reliance on the opening duo comprising of Chris Gayle, KL Rahul. Ashwin admitted that they will have to find a solution to this problem in order to come strong next year.
Yesterday, KXIP bowlers conceded 62 runs in the first six overs of the powerplay. The team has conceded an average of 57 runs in the powerplay this year. "One of the areas we have definitely lacked this year is the powerplay, both with bat and ball,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.
"Last year we had great powerplay batting with Chris and KL, but this year we couldn't get off to great starts because obviously the pressure was on them and they had to do the job. We have to address this going into the next year because we have lost most games on powerplay battles,” he added.
The KXIP skipper noted that they have won most of the games this season by doing well in the middle-overs stage. He also credited the likes of Sam Curran, who stroked an amazing fifty last night and fast bowler Mohammed Shami for their efforts in the season thus far.
"We won most games this season through the middle overs or sometimes at the death through some incredible performances from the likes of Shami or Sam Curran," Ashwin concluded.