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Sanjay: KKR played better

Sanjay Bangar

Calcutta: Kings XI Punjab coach Sanjay Bangar said that the rain threat and frequent drizzle “flustered” their batsmen during their chase of 164 against Kolkata Knight Riders, on Wednesday. The Kings XI finally fell short by 28 runs.

“I just thought, the drizzle really spoiled it a bit. I believe 160-odd was a par score on this wicket. Our batsmen got a bit flustered by the rain and lost the momentum midway through the innings.

“Even while KKR were batting, the rain came down at the right time for our opponents… That is not to take away anything from KKR. They were the deserving winners,” Bangar said.

The Kings XI coach said their batsmen failed to live up to expectations.

“We did not bat the way we’re capable of… Not many of our batsmen got a score of 40, I think that led to our downfall. There’s however nothing to take away from them. They played better on the day,” Bangar said.

“They are a good bowling unit and executed their plans really well. It’s a challenge for our batsmen to try and counter that which we could not do tonight.”

Defending the decision to bowl in overcast conditions, he said: “I think it’s always better to chase when there’s threat of rain... It’s just that the Duckworth-Lewis played a bit on the batsmen’s mind in the middle for just two or three overs.”

Bangar praised Akshar Patel, who got his maiden call-up to the Indian team for the three-match ODI series in Bangladesh.

“He’s got a fantastic temperament. He has to go back and carry this form and continue doing well in the domestic circuit for him to be considered at the highest level,” Bangar said.

“He’s a very good talent, and has a lot of confidence. He’s taken up the role of the main spinner for the side. His figures have been fabulous throughout the tournament. All credit to him. He didn’t really have too much of the IPL experience.”

Kings XI’s leg spinner Karanveer Singh, who dismissed Yusuf Pathan and Shakib-al Hasan, said his plans worked against both the batsmen.

“I was thinking about both of them since yesterday night. I had it at the back of my mind that I can get them out by varying my pace rather than bowling the same deliveries… That worked for me,” Karanveer told IPL’s official website.

“Flight and loop, both the things are my strength. So, I try and use them as much as I can.

“Given the pressure, it’s important to have some amount of fearlessness. And we work on that. The coach, bowling coach and the captain emphasise on playing fearlessly.

“Besides, getting hit is also part of the game. The batsmen are there to hit you. So, we focus on our strengths and work on those.”

He said it has been encouraging to see leg-spinners getting wickets in the tournament.

“I feel that leg-spinners always have a better chance of getting wickets… It motivated me.”