KL Rahul was in a pensive mood after the Punjab Kings lost to Chennai Super Kings on Friday. The PBKS skipper rued the side’s poor start, admitting his untimely run-out didn’t do the team any favors.
PBKS were blown away by a Deepak Chahar masterclass in Mumbai and were reeling at 26/5 at one point. Although KL Rahul’s men managed to bat out their 20 overs, a total of 106 was never going to threaten CSK as they cruised to a six-wicket win.
KL Rahul dissected his team’s poor start after the game, admitting a combination of good bowling from CSK and poor batting from Punjab cost his team the match.
“If any team loses five wickets in the first 7-8 overs it is always going to be hard to catch up. They bowled well, we played some bad shots. That’s how the game goes. Credit to CSK bowlers, they bowled in the right channels. Deepak with his knuckle balls got a couple of wickets. Getting myself run out doesn’t help the team either.” said KL Rahul.
KL Rahul was sent packing after Ravindra Jadeja’s stunning direct hit caught him short of the crease. The moment of brilliance meant KL Rahul had to depart after scoring just five against CSK.
His dismissal came as Deepak Chahar ran through the PBKS top order, picking up three wickets in the powerplay. CSK kept picking up wickets at regular intervals, and PBKS never got going at the Wankhede. The stadium is known for producing batting belters and has already produced some high-scoring games in IPL 2021.
Although KL Rahul stopped short of blaming the pitch for Punjab’s disappointing showing, he admitted the surface didn’t play to expectations.
“Pitch was a lot more sticky and tacky than what it looked like. Just the way we started. I think the pitch was still okay. It wasn’t a 100-110 wicket, it was maybe 150-160 sort of wicket,” reflected KL Rahul.
KL Rahul not too worried by the heavy defeat
Apart from a late double-wicket over by Mohammed Shami, PBKS rarely troubled the CSK batsmen. The heavy defeat has severely impacted PBKS’ Net Run Rate, but KL Rahul is keen to learn from the game and move ahead in what will be a long IPL season.
“We would like to review ourselves on the key points we speak about before the game and if we stuck to those plans. If we tried to do our best it is still okay, we are allowed to have a few bad games. That’s how cricket goes. In the last game, we got 220 and in this game, we couldn’t even get half of it. As individuals, you see how you can do better if we have a situation like this again, shared KL Rahul.
Punjab Kings have one final game at the Wankhede left before they fly out to Chennai. KL Rahul wants his team to learn from the heavy defeat and use that experience to full effect when they take on the Delhi Capitals on April 18.
“We are playing at Wankhede again in a couple of days. So, if we face a similar sort of wicket, what could be the best way to get our team to 150-160. From there we can give our bowlers a realistic chance to win us the game. It is important we learn from our mistakes. That’s the team we want to be. We still want to go out there and play fearless cricket. It is T20 cricket, more often than not you will score big runs but there will be one or two games in the season where you lose wickets like this. It is important we take it on our chin, move forward, and get better next game,” concluded KL Rahul.
The six-wicket loss means the Punjab Kings drop down to seventh place in the table. They now have an NRR of -0.909, which could come back to haunt them later in the tournament.