Kings XI Punjab vs Rising Pune Supergiant a mini final: Shaun Marsh
Shaun Marsh says Kings XI Punjab are not taking undue pressure ahead of their must-win Indian Premier League (IPL) game against Rising Pune Supergiant.ipl 2017 Updated: May 13, 2017 22:04 IST
Kings XI Punjab have been living on the edge for the last couple of Indian Premier League (IPL) games. The Glenn Maxwell-led team was virtually out of the playoff race, but two narrow wins against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders have placed them just one victory away from a top-four finish.
KXIP face Rising Pune Supergiant in an away match on Sunday and can enter the playoffs with a win, regardless of the other results.
Senior batsman Shaun Marsh, who struggled to find a place in the playing XI in the early part of the IPL but has struck form since making a comeback, says the team is trying to stay as calm as possible.
Ahead of the big match, Marsh, who since his return has hit two half centuries and several small but significant knocks to be one of KXIP’s top scorers, talks to HT about hitting form after making a late entry and also the team’s chances going ahead.
Q: KXIP’s match against RPS is going to decide the playoff line-up of IPL 2017. How are the players looking at it?
A: We are really excited about tomorrow’s game. With Pune losing against Delhi, it’s like a mini-final for both teams. And that’s good motivation for us as a playing group. If we win, we have a chance to get an opportunity to play in the final. We have played good cricket in the last four to five games and hope to carry it forward. We are confident.
Q: Does the knockout scenario add to the pressure?
A: We are trying to keep it as simple as possible and keep playing the way we are playing as a team and also individually. All the players know their role.
Q: You did not find a place in the playing XI in the early part of the edition. Did it affect you?
A: It’s always good to get a game after I missed the first five matches. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s game, which is a big match for us.
Q: Wriddhiman Saha was promoted to opening position in the last match. Can we expect more changes in the batting lineup against RPS?
A: As a team, it’s always good to be flexible. Saha got a chance at the top of the order the other night and made it count. It’s really good for the team that players are utilising the chance they are getting. It’s a good situation for KXIP at the moment.
Q: Is KXIP missing Hashim Amla and David Miller, both of whom have left for Champions Trophy, at a crucial juncture?
A: Both were very important players to the team but they have left. Hash had a wonderful tournament. It gives the other guys an opportunity. The other guys are really trying to step up and make their chances count. Saha did that the other night.
Q: Among the young Indian talent in IPL, whose game has caught your eye the most?
A: There are a lot of good Indian players here and probably if I have to pick one, it would be Manan Vohra. We all saw the damage he did against Sunrisers Hyderabad (Vohra scored a 50-ball 95). He has a bright future ahead of him.