Jaipur:KL Rahul’s sensational, unbeaten 95 off 70 balls was not enough for Kings XI Punjab as they suffered a 15-run loss to Rajasthan Royals to continue their woeful run at the Sawai Mansingh stadium where they have lost all their games at the venue in the IPL.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Kings XI Punjab coach Brad Hodge rued the lack of support for Rahul as the team failed to get over the line.
“If your one, two and three fire, you are in pretty good shape. We did not have anyone to help Rahul get the job done. It is a slight area of concern. If we had contributions from the middle order, we might have been in a better position,” Hodge said.
The right-handed batsman had smashed an unbeaten 84* off 54 balls to help Kings XI Punjab cross the line in Indore. However, during his knock of 95, he was let down by the top and middle order.
Barring the right-hander’s knock, the next best was Marcus Stoinis’ 11 while the rest of the batsmen had scores of 1,0,3,9,7,9.
With Rahul scoring close to 67% of Kings XI Punjab’s score of 143/7, Hodge said the over-reliance on Rahul and Chris Gayle was a bit of a concern.
“Rahul is in great form and when Chris Gayle fires, anything can happen. We have got some extremely talented players and we need them to lift a little bit and contribute a little bit more to what they are doing. That is reality for most teams in this IPL,” Hodge said.
Chasing 159, Kings XI Punjab started badly and managed just 33 runs in the first six overs of the powerplay. Hodge said the team did not recover from that position on this pitch.
“This was a tough surface when we saw the wicket at the toss. We never got momentum going. At the end of the powerplay, we were 20 runs short of where we should have been and that cost us a bit. We could not get back into the game,” Hodge said.
Kings XI Punjab are in third spot with 12 points from 10 games and their next game will be in Indore against Kolkata Knight Riders.