Kings XI Punjab have a really strong batting lineup on paper as the likes of Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, and Shaun Marsh are genuine match-winners on their day. In their 2016 IPL opener against the Gujarat Lions, the Kings XI got off to a solid start as M. Vijay and Manan Vohra looked flawless.
But once the openers were dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja, the Punjabis lost momentum and failed to capitalize on the start. Miller and Maxwell, the batting pillars of the Kings XI were dismissed cheaply by Dwayne Bravo and that led to their slide in the middle overs. Ahead of his side’s second game, against the Delhi Daredevils, Miller said that his team should be smarter with the bat, in the middle overs.
Giving instances from their first game, Miller said, “I think it just boils down to being smart,” Miller said. “Who’s thinking smarter than the opposition. They bowled really well the other night. They bowled in the right zone and used the cutters really well. We just have to play smarter in the middle period. I’m a big believer in: ‘If you sense, if you get a sniff, that you can take down a bowler then you should take him down.’ It’s only 20 overs so you have to see how the night is going and go with the flow.”
Stressing on the need to cashing in the middle overs, Miller added, “That’s something we have spoken about.” “As I said, Maxwell and I got out in one over so it’s a big momentum swing right there. There were two new batters, and they had to rebuild so that was a big negative. But that’s the nature of the game so we need to be flexible. We need to learn to adapt.”
“Mohali has big boundaries. They were bowling a lot of good cutters. We should be focussing on hitting it in the gaps and running twos instead of taking on the bowlers early on. I think it’s about being clever in the middle period. It’s a fine line because you don’t want to lose wickets and you want to keep the runs coming. It’s about finding that balance,” Miller added.