Appointing Murali Vijay as the new captain was like a fresh gush of air for the Kings XI Punjab who finally registered their second win of the tournament. The win against the table-toppers Gujarat Lions will give them the much-needed boost to fight for a berth in the playoffs.
However, KXIP skipper Vijay downplayed the fact that appointing a new captain did the trick for his side.
“To be honest, we have been missing out on the smaller aspects of the game on previous occasions and this was bound to come because we have quality players in our side and it was just a matter of time (before we won a game),” Vijay said at the post-match press conference on Sunday (May 1).
“I was behind David Miller as well, giving my inputs. It’s just that it didn’t happen when he was doing it and it happened now. He cannot be put under the pump and I cannot take credit it’s just that as a team we really did well.”
A newbie in captaincy, Vijay said that playing international cricket for eight years has given him the experience to think like a leader.
“I’ve been with the international team for some eight years now, and I’ve been with some greats, learning my stuff. I strongly believe that anybody who plays cricket at the highest level will captain himself, so I know what’s exactly happening in the field. A lot of fielders don’t have to be told what they have to do, they just go to their respective places and that makes it easier for the captain.”
Well, he never looked nervous with his cap as he rotated his bowlers wisely, adjusted the field as per requirement and as a result his side was able to defend 154 against a batting lineup that boasts the likes of Brandon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, and Suresh Raina.
“I strongly believe you’ve got to act according to the situation and what you have on your side. You cannot just try to go and do something out of the box. We need to manipulate what resources we have and get the best performance with them, rather than telling we can all go and bowl four overs and get two wickets.
“We’ve got to really work hard. It’s good in a way, and we have some quality bowlers and quality individuals performing. But we need to perform as a team from now on,” he added.
Speaking on Axar Patel’s superb performance (4 wickets for 21 including a hattrick) he said that while his effort was commendable but the win was achieved due to the team effort.
“The pressure he’s been through in previous games, to come and produce a performance like that is commendable on his side and I really appreciate that. To be honest, it was a team effort. Everybody sat down and made plans.
“The break we had (five days) was good for us because it just took us away from the game and we came back strong. I thought everyone was clinical in their performances, especially Mohit Sharma and Sandeep (Sharma) were excellent, followed up by Axar Patel.”
The win has kept their hopes alive and they would like to keep the momentum going in their next match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens.