Punjab Kings (PBKS) captain KL Rahul believes that his team played “really good cricket” last year in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but they were just “a tad unlucky” in the IPL 2020.
For the last two seasons, the Punjab Kings (PBKS) – Kings XI Punjab in the past – have been finishing at the sixth place and they only once made the final of the IPL.
However, Rahul hopes that the many changes at the side made by the franchise – from the squad to the team’s name and playing kit – will bring some “fortune” and help his side to change their fate in the upcoming IPL 2021.
Rahul said in a podcast on Red Bull’s Decoding Athletes series: “We have our fingers crossed. I genuinely believe that we were a tad bit unlucky last year. We did play some really good cricket. A couple of the games we really couldn’t close for a couple of reasons. It did hurt a little bit, so I’m hoping the change of name and jerseys, and a whole lot of other changes, will bring us some good fortune.”
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He also heaped praise on Chris Gayle, saying the hard-hitting West Indian batsman is getting “better and better with age” and he is looking forward to playing with him in the IPL 14 starting April 9 (Friday).
The wicketkeeper-batsman was also impressed by Gayle’s ability to have fun around and then whack the ball with ease despite having no match practice, but just having a party on yachts.
The 28-year-old further said of Gayle, “I obviously played with Chris [Gayle] for a long time. Having him around is great fun. I’m really looking forward to playing with him again. One year older, but every time he comes back, he keeps getting better and better.”
Rahul added, “I really wonder how he does that. It’s like he’s always on the yacht, partying. And then he turns up and plays the way he does. For someone like me who spends three-four hours getting my batting and skill right, I really wonder how he does it. So, I’m really looking forward to having him in the team and hitting some sixes.”
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On the PBKS’ new recruit Riley Meredith, Australia speedster, Rahul said: “I’m looking forward to watching Riley Meredith bowl. I’ve watched him in a couple of games. He looks like he can bowl at some proper pace. That’s something I felt we were missing for a few seasons – someone who can intimidate the opposition with some pace. So I’m really looking forward to watching him bowl.”
Rahul had only joined the PBKS team yesterday but he insisted that it wouldn’t be easy at all by saying “actually, I did get a few weeks at home, but I was there for rehab. So, it doesn’t really feel like a break. And with such a short season like this, having someone like Anil Kumble as a coach is awesome.”
He signed off by saying, “We’ve got a lot of experienced coaches like Jonty [Rhodes], Andy Flower, and Wasim Jaffer. They do a lot of homework. Before we even started training sessions, I’ve been in touch with Anil Kumble and Andy Flower discussing what kind of combinations we can play and how can our players improve and get better at skills.”
(With ANI Inputs)