While Axar Patel and Hashim Amla played a key role in guiding Kings XI Punjab to a convincing 26-run win over Gujarat Lions, KC Cariappa also played his part in the third victory for the Mohali-based team in the 2017 Indian Premier League.
When asked about his strategy when ball was thrown to him, the 23-year-old said, “The wickets are generally good so. I stick to my strategy of bowling a tight length.”
And the strategy worked to perfection as the Karnataka leg spinner emerged as Kings XI Punjab’s most economical bowler on the day. Such was his control over his line and length that he was hit for just two boundaries before he ended with figures of two for 24 in his four overs.
The Coorg resident added picking early wickets boosted team’s confidence. “Getting (Brendon) McCullum and (Aaron) Finch early gave us a lot of confidence. We thought we could do it as their main batsmen had gone in the first few overs. We pushed our overs when Raina came in and it helped as well,” said Cariappa, who had featured in couple of matches earlier in the tournament before been benched after ineffective performance.
Cariappa shot to fame during the 2015 auction when Kolkata Knight Riders paid Rs 2.4 crores for him. His only experience at that time was playing handful of Karnataka Premier League matches. While he played just one match for Knight Riders, Cariappa was drafted by Kings XI Punjab in 2016.
Since then he hasn’t been able to cement his place in the squad. He also played for Karnataka in the Inter-State South Zone T20 tournament but didn’t make much of an impact.
While it remains to be seen how far he can go, Sunday’s match-winning performance will definitely sky-rocket his confidence.