After seeing Kings XI Punjab snatching victories from the jaw of defeats, former Indian cricketer and renowned commentator Sunil Gavaskar has stated that their head coach Anil Kumble had a huge influence on them because of which they have come back from an impossible situation.
After winning four matches in a row, Kings XI Punjab are standing at number five position and are still alive in the race of qualifying for playoffs. Well, nobody would have thought Kings would have climbed to the fifth position after they had lost back to back five matches.
While speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Live, Sunil Gavaskar said that Kings XI Punjab has, finally, found a way to win the matches after losing the matches they deserved to take home.
“You know, they have just found the winning way! They seem to have lost that at the start of the tournament. Remember, every time they were close to winning and they went into the super over in their first-ever game and then again, after that they were losing in the final overs,” Sunil Gavaskar said.
For their unbelievable victory against SunRisers Hyderabad, while defending 126 runs, Sunil Gavaskar said that self-belief was their key to success.
“Then, somewhere down the line, they found that key, that takes them to a win and the last few games, they have played exceptional cricket. The last match, to defend a 126 takes a lot of doing, takes a lot of self-belief and that’s what they showed,” Gavaskar stated.
KL Rahul is leading them brilliantly: Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar said that although KL Rahul has not given up to scratch performance with his bat, he has not let down the team with his astute captaincy. He heaped praise on how Rahul is placing fielding and using the bowlers wisely.
“They have been brilliantly led by KL Rahul. KL Rahul has grown into the captaincy role, and though he didn’t score as many as he normally does, he made sure, with his field placing, with his bowling changes, even giving Chris Jordan that 19th over and then trusting Arshdeep to defend 14 in the final over is fantastic,” Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar added that the fighting spirit that everyone has witnessed in Anil Kumble could also be seen in Kings XI Punjab. He recalled that time when the former spinner went out to bowl even though he had broken his jaw.
The veteran expressed that the Punjab-based franchise has also learned from Kumble to come back from an impossible situation.
“Do not forget the role of Anil Kumble! Anil Kumble has been a fighter all his cricketing career, you could see when he went out with a broken jaw and bowled, and that spirit is seen in the KXIP. That is the reason why they have come back from impossible situations and are now in the hunt for the place in the playoffs,” Gavaskar added.
Kings XI Punjab will face Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday and it is a most crucial match for them to enter the top four in the points table.