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Kind of toughness Mandeep has shown has rubbed on to others: KXIP skipper KL Rahul

Bengaluru, Oct. 26: The Kings XI Punjab are enjoying a superb run as they notched up their fifth win on the trot at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Two weeks back the KL Rahul-led side looked all set to miss out on a playoff berth as they have just picked up one win from seven matches. But the Anil Kumble-coached side is enjoying a stunning comeback as they have put themselves in contention for a playoff berth.

The Punjab team have now won six out of their twelve matches and are placed fourth on the points table after their eight wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders.

An all round show against the Knights on Monday left skipper Rahul extremely pleased with his side. Speaking at the post match press conference, Rahul was elated with his side’s performance.

“I am very happy. The whole team will be. We collectively decided to go out there and play positive cricket, and things can turn around. It is different persons putting their hands up at different times. Just happy that everything is coming together. Fingers crossed that we can win a few more games,” Rahul said after the match.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was also full of praise for opening partner Mandeep Singh. Mandeep, who played an unbeaten 66 against the Knights, lost his father a couple of days ago. But the cricketer stayed with his team and on Monday played a match-winning knock.

“The kind of toughness Mandeep has shown has rubbed on to others. Everybody is emotional. Just to put his hand up, just to be there, just to finish off the game, makes us so proud,” said Rahul.

Talking about the team composition and the coach’s effort, the captain further stated, “When we have Anil Kumble as coach, it is no surprise we are playing two legspinners. He always had that in mind. He has worked really really hard on them. And not just on them, but also those who haven't played yet. Complete team effort, and a lot of credit should go to the coaches.”

Meanwhile, Rahul said it was tough to have kept Gayle out of the team. Gayle, who played a match-winning knock along with Mandeep, was kept out of the side for the first few matches. Following that the explosive batsman was unavailable as he was unwell. But since his arrival the team has been enjoying a good run in the tournament.

“Chris, it was a very hard decision not to play him. He is the hungriest I have seen in the last seven-eight years playing for different franchises. Running ones and twos. And you know how he keeps the dressing room upbeat. To do it over and over again, year after year,” said the batsman.

“We will enjoy tonight's victory, enjoy tomorrow, and then start thinking about the next game. One game at a time," signed off the skipper.

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Story first published: Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 0:22 [IST]
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