In their final game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 edition, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) ended things on a positive note. The Ravichandran Ashwin-led team handed a clinical 6-wicket defeat to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. In the match, CSK experienced batsmen duo comprising of Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina compiled fabulous innings in the century partnership, but then the KXIP bowler pair of Sam Curran and Mohammed Shami pulled things amazingly well to limit the opposition within a par first innings total.
While in the second innings, KXIP opener KL Rahul entertained the home crowd with some remarkable shots in almost all parts of the ground and his phenomenal innings also brought the result factor to mere formalities. With this win, KXIP also avoided the wooden spoon, which was to be RCB’s destiny this time.
However, after the win, KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin was very much disappointed to finish the season at the seventh position. He mentioned that the team had the ability to perform much better than this. "When you finish the season like that, most definitely I feel really disappointed because we had the ability to punch well above where we ended up," quoted Ravichandran Ashwin in the post-match press conference.
Ashwin stresses on the need to form a core group of players
Kings XI Punjab had retained the likes of KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Andrew Tye, Mayank Agarwal, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ankit Rajpoot, Karun Nair, David Miller and Ravichandran Ashwin for the 2019 IPL campaign. Out of these nine retentions, just four players in Gayle, Rahul, Agarwal and Ashwin have provided significant results for the investments.
"If you look at the successful franchises, they retain their core. We really need to start producing players and have that core going forward. It's not that you buy someone and end up winning the next day and be successful. So it's important for us to keep adding strength to that dressing room," Ashwin inferred.
We are well on our way to building something special
Ashwin further noted that they are well on their way to building something special for the next season. However, he also stated that for this to happen, a few players need to contribute. The skipper is hopeful of what is in the store.
"I think we are well on our way to building something special. We do need a lending hand from a few more players. We are very hopeful of what we have in store for us," the KXIP skipper concluded.