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Manan: Washout will be extremely frustrating

Calcutta: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) should have no complaints if the wet conditions continue to keep the players out of the field and eventually lead to the abandonment of the IPL VII Qualifier I.

As per the rules, KXIP, who finished on top of the standings after the league phase, will secure a final berth should there be a washout. Manan Vohra, though, feels the ideal way to reach the final is by beating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden.

“True, one can’t control weather. But a washout will be extremely frustrating. Hopefully, things will be better tomorrow and we’ll get down to business.

“We want to play this game and win it to make the final,” the KXIP opener said at the team hotel on Tuesday.

So far, Manan hasn’t played against the KKR. Being impressive at the top order, putting on solid partnerships while opening with Virender Sehwag, Manan is yet to be tested against the might of the KKR bowling attack.

Obviously, it won’t be easy for the 20-year-old to blaze away against the Sunil Narines and Morne Morkels. But he doesn’t seem to be intimidated at all by the rival attack.

“The onus is on playing our natural game and keeping the basics right when we play KKR in this all-important game… We just need to function as a unit, which I feel will make things easier, and more importantly, simpler for us.

“Besides, I don’t think we should be too worried or looking at the names in their bowling attack. What matters is performing on the day and treating each ball as per its merit,” he explained.

The names of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller turn out to be the obvious choices whenever KXIP are spoken about. To be fair to the youngster, he has played an equally significant role behind the victories notched up by KXIP at the league stage of the competition.

Manan’s figures — 197 runs from five matches at an average of 39.40 and a strike rate of 150.38 — are there for everyone to see. However, he admits that the presence of Sehwag, captain George Bailey, Maxwell and Miller have been crucial in helping him perform.

“For sure, I’ve been learning plenty about batting, having these players alongside me. Honestly, they are teaching me a lot.

“Virubhai, especially, asks me to keep calm and just enjoy the game without thinking of the target or the total we are supposed to put up. It’s important I back my instincts, he says,” Manan signed off.