IPL 2019: Won more games for my team this year: Rahul

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A team that enters IPL play-offs as either table-toppers or No. 2 would get two clear shots at summit clash qualification.

K.L. Rahul brought back memories of his last year’s blistering stroke-play in guiding Kings XI Punjab to a repeat home win over Chennai Super Kings here on Sunday.

“I’ve been holding myself back till the last game, because my role was different, (that of) playing 20 overs and holding up one end. Tonight, I was playing much more freely. It came out very well today. Looking back at it from a personal and team’s point of view, my strike-rate has dropped, but I have won more games this year. You have to curb your shots at times, and if I did that last year, we could have done better.”

We did not close out matches: Ashwin

Skipper R. Ashwin reflected at Kings XI’s campaign and said, “It was not easy for us, but we haven’t been outplayed much in many games, except against SRH. We just haven’t been able to close out the close humdingers. There are a few reasons, we didn’t close out games, particularly in the power-play and our middle overs. I feel that when teams plan and come back to us, we need to respond properly.

“We haven’t qualified but we have to build a core group to keep going for the next few seasons. CSK has a fulcrum of how they go about things, same with Mumbai Indians. We have to look at that in the future. We have to post a score that you can defend and some of the best teams do that very consistently.”

Dhoni praises Kings XI

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was lavish in his praise of Kings XI. “You need to give the credit to them. It was not an easy wicket. We did whatever we could, it didn’t work a lot. Quite happy with the way we bowled, despite giving a few runs at the start. If you can’t win a game, you make sure you get the opposition to get the runs in most number of overs. You have to quickly adapt, learn and reassess.”

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