IPL 2020: "Short run game versus DC came back to bite us", says KXIP skipper KL Rahul 

KL Rahul spoke in the aftermath of his team's IPL 2020 exit on Sunday.

KXIP finished sixth on the points table | Twitter/Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper KL Rahul rued the short run controversy in his team's very first IPL 2020 fixture versus Delhi Capitals (DC) and said the incorrect umpiring call came back to "bite" his team as they fell one win short of entering the playoffs. 

Losing to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday (November 1), KXIP finished with only 12 points despite their dramatic turnaround in the second half of the campaign.

Read Also:  MS Dhoni hints CSK's "core group" set for change after first league stage exit 

"It is disappointing," said an emotional Rahul at the post-match presentation, as quoted by PTI. "We had a lot of games in our pockets and we couldn’t get over the line and we only have ourselves to blame. That short run game too (against Delhi Capitals on September 20), looks like it has come back to bite us."

The match against DC which Rahul recalled saw KXIP go down in the super over. But it wouldn't have ended in a tie at the first place had umpire Nitin Menon not err in calling Chris Jordan for a short run on the third ball of the 19th over in the chase. 

Menon gestured that Jordan hasn't completed the double, much to his partner Mayank Agarwal and KXIP's despair. Especially as the TV replay seconds later showed that Jordan's bat was clearly inside the crease when he went across for the first run. 

Coming back to the defeat versus CSK, Rahul was at pain that his team's much-vaunted batting line-up let itself down when it mattered the most. Rahul (29), Agarwal (29) and Chris Gayle (12) all got starts but didn't play the substantial knock their side needed. KXIP finished with a modest 153/6, which also they reached only because of Deepak Hooda's superlative half-century (62* from 30 balls) at No.6. 

"It is as simple as that. We didn’t bat really well. Big pressure game, we expected 180-190. We couldn’t soak in the pressure. We didn’t have the results going our way in the first half."

"It was good wicket but we couldn’t really get partnerships going. In the first six with me and Mayank getting 50 we should have capitalised and got ourselves a bigger target. The way Deepak (Hooda) batted at the end gave us a chance. In a big game like this a big total would have been nice to defend."

“I don’t think batting order got wrong, as batters we knew we had to put a big total on the board. We all knew it was a big game. The only thing we didn’t do is soak up the pressure a little bit and stitch a couple of partnerships that would have really helped us."

KXIP's campaign was reflective of the tough nature of the competition as the one versus DC wasn't their only close defeat. The team finished sixth in the standings despite a remarkable five-match winning streak in there. 

"It does hurt," said Rahul. "We have done really well to give ourselves a chance to qualify and there is lot to be proud of as a team."

"Would have been great if we had one more victory and qualify but nevertheless we did really well as a team. It will hurt for a little while, need to take the learning and comeback stronger next year."

While the end result was definitely not to their liking, KXIP will be pleased with some of the positives that came out. Rahul was especially impressed with the young talent in the set-up. 

"The youngsters have all been putting a lot of work. There was no question mark about how hard they were working. It’s important for youngsters to get a couple of good game to get confidence and that’s what they have shown," he signed off. 


By Kashish Chadha - 02 Nov, 2020

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