KL Rahul's Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) fell to a 48-run defeat to the Mumbai Indians (MI) in Match 13 of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, and the loss was their third of the tournament in four games.
After winning the toss and electing to field, KXIP ended up conceding 191 runs, with Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard the major contributors for MI. In response, a promising innings from Nicholas Pooran went in vain as KXIP managed just 143/8 to fall short by 48 runs.
Here are 3 tactical mistakes that were made during the KXIP vs MI IPL 2020 game.
#3 KXIP's batting order
KXIP's fragile middle order hadn't been exposed before this game due to the exploits of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, but that all changed against MI. Both openers didn't score too much, and the No. 3 batsman - Karun Nair - bagged a duck.
Nicholas Pooran was the only man to offer some resistance in the KXIP middle order, while Glenn Maxwell, Jimmy Neesham and Sarfaraz Khan struggled. KL Rahul has shuffled his middle order quite a lot now already, and their best combination is yet to be determined.
The form of Maxwell and Nair are major concerns, while the No. 3 position is still up for grabs. KXIP need to sort out their batting order at the earliest, as they have already fallen behind in the race for the playoffs.
#2 KXIP used only 5 bowlers against MI
While the fact that KXIP conceded 191 against MI on a pitch that wasn't as flat as the score suggests was largely due to their inept death bowling, they didn't do themselves any favours by using only 5 bowling options.
Murugan Ashwin, who has been decent for KXIP in the few overs that he has gotten in IPL 2020, was dropped in favour of Krishnappa Gowtham. With two right-handers at the crease for a significant part of the MI innings, the 30-year-old didn't get too many windows to sneak a few overs in.
And although he did bowl well when Ishan Kishan was struggling, Rahul should've gotten a few overs out of Glenn Maxwell when he had the chance. Not using the Aussie off-spinner caused a host of other problems, none more blasphemous than the mistake that is #1 on this list.
#1 KL Rahul bowled out Sheldon Cottrell far too soon
Sheldon Cottrell bowled three overs in the powerplay, conceding only 17 runs and picking up the wicket of Quinton de Kock. With him being one of two recognised pacers in the side, he was expected to bowl his final over at the death.
However, Rahul chose to bring in the West Indian pacer for the 13th over of the MI innings to bowl to a struggling Ishan Kishan and a Rohit Sharma who hadn't quite found his bearings yet. The over was excellent as Cottrell conceded just 3 runs, but this left KXIP woefully short of options at the death.
Jimmy Neesham bowled 2 of the last 5 overs, with the responsibility of the final over of the innings falling to Krishnappa Gowtham. The results were understandably poor - Neesham conceded 40 runs in those two overs, while the off-spinner's over went for 25.
Unfortunately for Rahul and KXIP, they lost the game when they decided to bowl out Cottrell.
Published 02 Oct 2020, 00:07 IST