Punjab Kings skipper Shikhar Dhawan is happy that his team started with a win in the 16th edition of the IPL. Punjab defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by seven runs (DLS method) to pocket two points on Saturday in Mohali.
“It’s a great feeling to start the tournament with a win, we’ll try to take the momentum in the next game and carry that confidence ahead. According to the situation I used those bowlers, good thing we have got plenty of bowlers in the side,” Dhawan said after the match.
Sikandar Raza came up with a handy contribution as with the ball, he removed KKR skipper Nitish Rana, who was looking in good touch. Dhawan heaped praise on Raza and also praised Arshdeep Singh who picked a three-wicket haul.
“I knew Raza was going to be handy against the left-handers, so he gave us three quality overs. Also have experienced bowlers like Sam Curran and Arshdeep in the side. Wanted to be aggressive and at the same time smart,” Dhawan said.
“Was trying to hold one end, and if I got out, someone else would do that. They are youngsters and they are learning. We all are living our dream and we should be happy about it. As a leader I make sure the team stays relaxed and in a happy state of mind,” the Punjab skipper added.
Rana, meanwhile rued the fact that all-rounder Andre Russell not able to bowl did hurt his side.
“Was thinking of using Anukul with the ball but didn’t find the right situation for it. Russell not bowling at the death wasn’t because of any injury issue. I just felt like going with my five main bowlers. They batted well, judged the wicket better than us,” Rana said.
KKR needed 46 runs in 24 balls when rain stopped play. The Kolkata skipper opined that had not the skies opened up, his side could have won the match.
“Anything could’ve happened if the rain didn’t arrive. Venkatesh got out unfortunately as we were trying to get ahead on DLS. The shot was on. Overall it was a good game. Plenty of learnings from it. It’s only the first game of the season,” Rana said.
Post-match press conference: Bhanuka Rajapaksa
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