Brad Hodge, head coach of the Kings XI Punjab, has come out and stated that the Ravichandran Ashwin led side's downward curve of results, after a magnificent start to the season, has been very disappointing and that it is the team's middle-order that has failed to live upto his expectations.
Kings XI Punjab won 6 of their first 9 games and it looked like they would easily be one of the first teams to seal a place in the playoffs but has now lost their last four games and need to win their last match by a huge margin to have any chance of reaching further in the tournament.
Looking forward to their must-win encounter tonight and their overall campaign, Brad Hodge was quoted saying, "I think this competition is extremely tough to win consistently over a long period of time. We are a new team with a new captain and we have learned a lot from lessons of success and failure. I think realistically, our middle order hasn't fired as much we would have expected and we are too reliant on a couple of bowlers who have kept us in the game,"
"We haven't had consistency across the whole IPL, where when our match-winners haven't fired, nobody has been able to pick up the pieces. So, for us, I don't think it's going wrong, we have won 7 games like most other teams, if we would have managed to get over the line in couple other close ones then we would have been where we wanted to be but unfortunately, it didn't happen,"
He further talked about how it is tough to consistently winning in the Indian Premier League and said, "It's difficult. What we will be doing will be we will be watching and waiting for the next 24 hours to see the results of other games. We have unfortunately left ourselves in this position. At the halfway mark we were in a strong position but we have tight losses and now we are in a position where we have to watch other teams but we will go about our business today in same fashion and hope we get a chance tomorrow (afternoon) to make an impact,"
Talking about the recovery of Mujeeb Zadran and whether this is the last season of IPL for Yuvraj Singh. Hodge said, "Mujeeb, I think we will test him out today and hopefully, he will be available for selection tomorrow,"
"I am not here to determine what Yuvraj does after tomorrow, it's completely in his hands. He must have played cricket, that what cricket players do, so hopefully, he comes out and performs whether it's tomorrow, next day or in a years time, his legend in Indian cricket. So hopefully, it's not but sooner or later good times must come for him, but when that is, I am not the person to answer,"