A furious Virender Sehwag lambasted Kings XI Punjab’s foreign recruits after they flopped in the crunch game against Rising Pune Supergiant on Sunday, skittled out for a record low of 73 to lose by nine wickets and hand the must-win game on a platter. (RPS vs KXIP HIGHLIGHTS)
Not known to mince words, Virender Sehwag, the KXIP director of cricket operations, said after Rising Pune Supergiant won to seal the last playoff berth: “I’m very disappointed. I can say that none of the foreign players took responsibility and at least play 12 to 15 overs. Their role was at least one of the top four should bat for 12-15 overs, but none of the batsmen took responsibility.
“I think they were complaining that the wicket was a bit slow, but when you play international cricket so much, you should get used to playing on difficult or good wickets.”
Maxwell in crosshairs
That was aimed at skipper Glenn Maxwell, who said at the presentation that losing the toss proved a big disadvantage in the winner-take-all game.
“The toss had something to do with it,” the Aussie said. “The wicket was damp after a few days of rain. It was just about assessing the conditions. Everything went against us and we could not recover. We have lost our last five tosses. Unfortunately in the IPL, a lot can be decided by the toss.”
Kings XI Punjab lost five wickets inside the powerplay overs and never recovered.
Sehwag wasn’t impressed: “I think they’ll end up playing as much cricket as is their mentality. Perhaps they feel the T20 format is only for the entertainment bit and about fours and sixes…,” he said, adding: “The wicket wasn’t that bad that we were skittled for just 73 runs. Even if we would have made 120-130, we would have still been in the game. Our batsmen have been extremely irresponsible today.”
Skipper fell short
Although skipper Maxwell has had a few good knocks this season and has contributed consistently with the ball, Sehwag was critical.
“We always knew when Maxwell fires, he can win the match on his own. But he didn’t fire in most games. That is a big disappointment, especially since he’s experienced, having played for Australia’s Test and ODI teams. He didn’t take the responsibility as a captain and didn’t perform for Kings XI Punjab,” Sehwag said.
The Punjab franchise was bundled out in the 16th over with only four of their batsman managing to get to double figures. It was an extremely disciplined effort from Rising Pune Supergiant, who struck with the first ball of the innings to send back Martin Guptill. The pitch was on the slower side but the hosts kept their calm to chase down the target with ease. “We didn’t play at least four overs; 24 deliveries we missed and if we would have scored even 20-25 runs in those overs, we would have been close to 100 and put up a fight,” the former India opener added..