IPL 2017: Nice To Have The Leadership, Feel Like I Can Control, Says Glenn Maxwell
Skipper Glenn Maxwell gifted himself a victory on captaincy debut as he led his troops, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), to an impressive six-wicket win over Rising Pune Supergiant (RPSG).
The Punjab side, who had an underwhelming time last season, would really happy to start off this edition on a comfortable note.
After choosing to field first, Maxwell rallied side in a chase of 164 runs with a sensible 44 off just 20 balls. RPSG were never in the contest logically right from the start of the match. The only exception was Ben Stokes and Manoj Tiwary, who made worthy contributions with the bat for the visitors.
The start was horrible, as Sandeep Sharma removed Mayank Agarwal in the first over itself. The poor start was compensated by Stokes who played a match-saving knock of 50 off 32 balls. For support, at the other end, he had Tiwary who contributed with 40 off 23 balls.
The duo shared 61 runs for the 5th wicket before Stokes departed just after acknowledging his fifty. The pair put up a good show on a sticky wicket. However, the bowlers could not compliment their batting effort and failed to curb Maxwell and David Miller, who out up an unbeaten 79 runs stand for the 5th wicket to track down the target without much fuss.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir did hit but kept the interest in the game with two crucial KXIP wickets. But his efforts were not enough, as his compatriots could not bowl with the same effectiveness.
Skipper Steve Smith was visibly dejected after losing the match. It was the under par batting show that cost the match. The top order failure out the pressure on the middle order and their no platform to take advantage and post a good score on the board. Smith pointed these facts while speaking in the post-match interview.
“Probably wasn’t quite enough (the first innings score). The wicket hardened up later in the evening. We needed around 180 to be competitive. The wicket was a bit tacky and it was tough to score against the new ball. Wee have to be a little bit more aggressive and play without fear. Could have gone a little bit hard. We played well in the back end to get to 163. Probably needed more than that. New season, you gotta move forward and rectify the mistakes from last year. We’ll try and get better with each game.”
Maxwell, the winning skipper, also took home the Man of the Match award. The Aussie all-rounder was happy that things were under his control throughout the match.
“Nice to start off at the new home ground and give some joy. It hasn’t been fruitful for us in the last 2 years. The way we came out with the bat and ball was pleasing. We just came in with positive minds and had our plans for each individual batsman. We were a bit off with the practice matches. In one of our practice matches, we scored just 130. Today’s wicket was bit slow and bit spongy.Was very happy to restrict them to what we did.” Doing the job in first six is very important. That’s something which we didn’t in the last season. It is easier to chase. When you chase down, you need to time your chase well and keep your wickets in the back end. I’m hitting the ball quite well. It’s nice to be comfortable. Feel like I can control. Nice to have the leadership and it’s giving me the extra bit of responsibility. Hopefully, we keep the winning form.
“Doing the job in first six is very important. That’s something which we didn’t in the last season. It is easier to chase. When you chase down, you need to time your chase well and keep your wickets in the back end. I’m hitting the ball quite well. It’s nice to be comfortable. Feel like I can control. Nice to have the leadership and it’s giving me the extra bit of responsibility. Hopefully, we keep the winning form.”
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