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IPL 2019: Team that copes best with loss of players due to World Cup will win title - KXIP bowling coach Ryan Harris

IPL 2019: The biggest problem for KXIP last year was their lack of consistency and despite starting the tournament well they failed to continue their run and finished seventh in the points table.

cricket Updated: Mar 22, 2019 13:42 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
IPL 2019,Kings XI Punjab,KXIP
Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin during practice session at IS Bindra Cricket Stadium in Mohali.(HT Photo)

The new season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just around the corner and, on paper, Kings XI Punjab are easily one of the stronger sides in the tournament. With a formidable batting line-up and exciting all-rounders in their squad, the 2014 runners-up are looking to clinch the title for the first time this season.

However, the biggest problem for KXIP last year was their lack of consistency and despite starting the tournament well they failed to continue their run and finished seventh in the points table.

Looking to change their fortunes this season the Punjab outfit had a busy outing in the auction as they paid massive amounts for inexperienced T20 players - Varun Chakravarthy (Rs 8.4 crore), Sam Curran (Rs 7.2 crore) and Prabhsimran Singh (Rs 4.8 crore). They also acquired the services of India pacer Mohammed Shami, Nicholas Pooran and Moises Henriques.

Ahead of IPL 2019, Hindustan Times caught up with Kings XI Punjab bowling coach Ryan Harris to discuss the new season and what the team needs to do in order to clinch their maiden title.

Excerpts:

How’s your preparation ahead of the season?

It’s quite good. We had a couple of practice games and the team is looking in shape. The squad is slowly coming together and though we are missing some of the guys - couple in Australia and David Miller for South Africa - because of their different commitments, it is looking good for us so far.

Last season, the KXIP batting made most of the headlines. Will there be more balance in the performances between bat and ball?

I think it is going to be somewhat similar. We have a good bowling attack but our batting is looking great with Mayank (Agarwal), KL (Rahul) and (Chris) Gayle. We have a lot of firepower at the top of the batting order. But bowling will also be good with Ankit Rajpoot looking in good shape.

Who do you think will be the player to watch for this season for Kings XI Punjab?

I can actually give you a few. KL looks like he is really focused and that is very important in a big tournament. Gayle is also there with him and we all know what he is capable of.

Who is the youngster that has impressed you in practice?

Arshdeep Singh looks quite promising and then there is Harpreet Brar and Darshan Nalkande. The young guys we have are really talented and they are training really hard. They really want to win the game and that is something that has impressed me a lot while working with them.

What lessons can Kings XI Punjab learn from their last season’s performance?

We want to make sure that we are consistent and we want to start the season well. We had a good start last year as well but we dropped the ball. We have to make sure that we maintain the consistency and the confidence. We know that we will lose some games but we needed to learn from those defeats and try to improve ourselves and focus on the next games.

Which team, according to you, looks the strongest ahead of the season?

Well, it is tough to look past Chennai Super Kings. They are the reigning champions and they have a good squad. I will say Mumbai Indians will also be tough opponents. But, with the World Cup coming up, teams will lose players and it will come down to which team can recover in time.

First Published: Mar 22, 2019 13:42 IST