It was only their second loss of Pepsi IPL 2014, when Kings XI Punjab were outplayed by Kolkata Knight Riders at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. Although they had defended a smaller total against the same opposition in their previous encounter, they could not prevent KKR from scaling the target on Sunday. On a largely forgettable night, one of the better performers for KXIP was Akshar Patel. The 20-year-old left-arm spinner conceded at the rate of five runs per over and finished as the most economical bowler for his side.
In an interview with IPLT20.com after the match, he mentioned that bowling to the likes of Virender Sehwag and Glenn Maxwell in the nets has helped him work on his bowling. And while reflecting on the loss against KKR, he said that the KXIP bowlers conceded too many runs in the powerplay, and their batters did not capitalise on a decent start.
Here are excerpts from his exclusive interview:
On the loss
Of course, there is disappointment in losing a game, but you win some and you lose some; it is the nature of the game. But we will look to take the positives from this game and work our way forward. On where they fell short while batting
Well, while batting, we probably got a little impatient. We could have spent more time in the middle. We had got a got start from the openers, but the middle order fell away a bit. It happens – you have a bad day and good day. The other wicket where we scored 230-odd against CSK was good to bat on. But that is the nature of the game.
Whether the onus was on the bowlers in the KKR game
Yes, the onus was on the bowlers. In the last match against KKR also the onus was on our bowlers. We had set them a 133-run target back then; but we defended it. Today, our bowlers were a bit unlucky. We conceded too many runs in the first six overs, but overall, we were okay.
On the KXIP bowling attack that has a good mix of young and experienced bowlers
Yes, there is a good mix. Some of us have also played domestic cricket together, so we work together. It works out to be a good combination. The Australian fast bowlers back us and give confidence. We enjoy each other’s company, which is good.
On learning from senior spinner, Murali Karthik
He has played for India, and has played a lot of domestic and county cricket too. He helps me a lot. My action is a little different, so there isn’t much that he tells me about that, but he talks to me about things like mental strength and other such areas. It is good that at a young age I am getting the opportunity to learn from such experienced cricketers.
On bowling to the likes of Sehwag, Maxwell and David Miller in the nets
I benefit a lot from that. They are big hitters and when I bowl to them, I do so according to a field. That helps me a lot. And they tell me what a batsman might do while facing me, and so I learn a lot.
On coach Sanjay Bangar
He is an excellent coach. He teaches us and backs youngsters like Shivam Sharma, Rishi Dhawan and me.
On Maxwell, Sandeep Sharma and few others, including him, being on the emerging players list
It is good for us as well as the team that our names are on the emerging players list. It helps the confidence as well.