Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul has rued his side's 5-wicket defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday. Rahul remarked that he expected his batters to be more astute in adapting to the conditions in Ahmedabad but admitted that they have failed to do so on every difficult pitch in the past few games.
This was Punjab Kings' fourth defeat in the IPL 2021 from six games. Asked to bat first, KL Rahul and Co. could only accrue a below-par total of 123 in the first innings. The batsmen's failure in adjusting to the low bounce and utilizing the dew was palpable and most of them fell while trying to push the run rate.
Speaking after the game, KL Rahul lamented not scoring an extra 20-30 runs. He added that soft dismissals cost them the match.
"It is never nice to be on the losing side. I really don't know what to say it was just a poor performance. It's a new venue we should have adapted a lot quicker. It wasn't a 125 or 130 wicket, it was slow and low for sure but we could have applied a lot more with the bat. Expected the boys to be smarter and get those extra 20-30 runs but unfortunately, that's not happened in the few games where the wicket has been difficult. We had some soft dismissals and that cost us the game," said KL Rahul.
KL Rahul steered clear of using the 'two-paced' nature of the pitch as an excuse, saying that good teams adapt to such situations quickly. He emphasized that the players need to keep their heads high and keep improving.
"It was a bit two-paced and kept a little up and down as well. It was tough to assess what are the good shots and high-risk shots here. When you play at a new venue and bat first, you do that with no clue. But yes, that's what is expected of good players and good teams, to adapt quickly and put up a good total. Unfortunately, we couldn't do that but we have 3 more games here, hopefully, we will learn from our mistakes. We need to keep our heads higher and keep trying harder and harder and get those 2 points in the next game," added the skipper.
Punjab Kings are now placed 6th in the points table. Although the tournament still has a long way to go, the team's cracks are getting wider with every game. These include their bowling's lack of teeth in the middle-overs and Nicholas Pooran's perennially poor form.
KL Rahul talks about Ravi Bishnoi's brilliant catch
One of the few moments of respite for KL Rahul in the game was Ravi Bishnoi's breath-taking catch to send back Sunil Narine. Rahul lauded the youngster for the 'stunning take' and went on to commend fielding coach Jonty Rhodes for his behind-the-stage efforts.
"Oh, that was a stunning catch. We have been a good fielding side, you know with a lot of youngsters. Especially when you have a coach like Jonty Rhodes, who pushes the boys at every training session and he's been lovely to have fielding sessions with. But he is a tough task master and he puts us to a lot of tough tests and you can see how the boys perform," said KL Rahul.
The 29-year-old signed off by expressing hope that Punjab Kings' fielding could rub off on their other departments in the coming games as well.
"Big part of our success as a fielding unit is because Jonty keeps pushing the boys. He has a great energy off the field and training rubs on during match situations. Hopefully we can keep building and get better. Ravi was brilliant and that catch kept us in the game. Hopefully, we can keep building and get better in all three departments," concluded KL Rahul.
Punjab Kings will now go head-to-head with Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore at the same venue on April 30.