KL Rahul was keen to focus on the silver lining after losing to Chennai at the Wankhede. The Punjab Kings skipper admitted the solid performances of Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith were a big positive to take from the defeat.
The Punjab Kings were beaten all ends up on Friday, with the Chennai Super Kings cruising to a six-wicket win. A powerplay collapse left PBKS struggling at 26/5, from where they could only reach 106/8. CSK chased down the meager total with 26 balls to spare.
KL Rahul reflected on the heavy defeat after the game, where he was asked to comment on improved performances from Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith.
“That’s a positive thing for us. We have pace in our attack and we obviously want to use that. The first game obviously didn’t go too well for those two. It was their first game, I am sure they were a bit nervous. That was the chat after the game as well. That’s how the IPL goes and that’s how playing in India sometimes can be. It can be really tough and really cruel,” discussed KL Rahul.
Both Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith had improved games after their tough induction into the IPL. Jhye Richardson was solid at the top and built up pressure well alongside Mohammed Shami. The pacer ended with figures of 3-0-21-0 - a stark improvement from his debut outing of 1/55 against the Rajasthan Royals.
It was the same case for Riley Meredith, who bowled much tighter lengths on Friday. Although he too had no wickets to show for his efforts, Meredith proved to be economical with figures of 3.4-0-21-0.
KL Rahul was pleased to see the Australian duo have a much better game against CSK after being taken to the cleaners by Sanju Samson last time out.
"Like I said at the toss. Their plans were clear, they tried to execute to the best they could (last game). They did execute it pretty well. But it was a one-off innings where a batsman was hitting every ball. It was important they kept the belief. Good to see they came back stronger this game. They gave us crucial breakthroughs, and it was good to see the way they bowled," said KL Rahul.
KL Rahul has selection headache after CSK loss
Although the performances of Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith will come as a big boost for KL Rahul, the Punjab Kings have some selection headaches ahead of their next game.
Playing the two foreign pacers means Jhye Richardson is slotted to bat at no.7. The Punjab Kings saw the dangers of having a wafer-thin batting line-up in the IPL against CSK yesterday. Richardson was out to bat as early as the seventh over after the Punjab Kings top order collapsed. However, he couldn’t make the most of his chance.
Punjab Kings suffered from having no batting depth against CSK and it will prompt them to reconsider their playing eleven ahead of the next game. One of the changes we could see is Chris Jordan or Moises Henriques coming in for one of the fast bowlers, which would allow Punjab to field a solid all-rounder at no.7.
Whether KL Rahul breaks up his fast-bowling pair remains to be seen as PBKS target their second win of IPL 2021 on April 18 against the Delhi Capitals.