CHENNAI: On Monday, Kings XI Punjab defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by eight wickets in the IPL. This was their fifth win on the trot and lifted them to the fourth spot. Mandeep Singh's 66 and Chris Gayle's 51 helped their cause.
"The whole team will be happy. It's something we all collectively decided to do, to go out there and play positive cricket. We all believed that things can turn around for us. All five wins, it's a complete team effort. It's not one person or one individual,'' said skipper KL Rahul.
The Punjab captain felt his players took turns to perform to potential. "Every game, it's been a different person putting his hands up. Batting is looking good, bowling is looking good. We have fielded well throughout the tournament. Fingers crossed, we can win two more games,'' said the player from Karnataka.
Rahul had a word of praise for Mandeep, who lost his father a few days ago. "The way he played, it makes everyone emotional. He's gone through a rough time, just to put his hand up, be there and finish the game for the team would make him proud and make his father proud,'' he complimented.
Rahul stressed the importance of coach Anil Kumble's inputs. "When you have Anil Kumble as the coach, it's not surprising that we are playing with two leg-spinners. It's something that he had in his mind even before the IPL started. He always kept telling me that towards the second half or at some point, two leg-spinners is always an aggressive option. He's worked really hard on the spinners, not just the guys who are playing but also the guys who haven't played. The support staff and the coaches have done a lot of work on the players. A complete team effort, a lot of credit should go to the coaches," he said.
The wicketkeeper-batsman lauded Gayle and insisted that they love having the veteran in the team. "It was a very hard decision not to play him because he was batting really well. This is the hungriest I have ever seen him in the last 7-8 years that I have played with him. He is running his ones and twos, that's refreshing. He's always positive, always pushing the youngsters. It's great to have someone with that much experience. To go out there and keep doing it game after game and year after year is inspiring. We love having Chris in the dressing room, he brings a lot to the team."