IPL 2017: Need one win to get back to form, says Kings XI Punjab’s Mithun Manhas
Kings XI Punjab assistant coach Mithun Manhas has denied that their narrow defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous Indian Premier League 2017 match has had any major impact on the team.ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 20, 2017 01:22 IST
Kings XI Punjab assistant coach Mithun Manhas denied that their narrow defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday has had any major impact on the team and he believes that one win will turn them around.
At the press conference ahead of their match against Mumbai Indians, he said, “Close matches are extremely common in this tournament. It was a bad defeat for us, but we will have to bounce back. In this format, a win is all you need to get back your form.”
Kings XI Punjab had a brilliant start to the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, but defeats in the last three games have ruined their momentum completely. In their last game, they came agonisingly close to chasing down the target of 160, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s five-wicket haul clinched the game for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Manan Vohra was the sole bright spot for Kings XI Punjab in their last game as the opener slammed a brilliant 50-ball-95 to take his side to the brink of victory. Manhas was all praise for the 23-year old batsman from Chandigarh and he thinks this can be the breakout year for Vohra.
“Manan has a lot of potential, but it will be his consistency that will define him. It is easy to play a big innings, but his value to the team will be defined by how often he can play these knocks.”
“This season has been an unique opportunity for him. Over the last few seasons, he has played second fiddle to (Virender) Sehwag and (Shaun) Marsh. But, this time, he has a chance to play his natural game and that will be huge plus for him.”, he added.
The bowling department of Kings XI Punjab has not been that impressive in this year’s tournament. There has been no standout performance from any of the specialist bowlers, but Manhas says they are improving over the course of the tournament.
Bowling not weak
“I know that batting is our strong point, but it is unfair to say that our bowling is weak. We have restricted teams to 160-165 on three occasions this season and I believe that our bowlers have made a lot of improvement.”
The match against Mumbai Indians can see the IPL 2017 debut for Martin Guptill. The New Zealand international was bought for Rs 50 lakhs in this year’s auction, but was unable to take part in the initial matches due to a hamstring injury. However, the 30-year old joined the Kings XI Punjab side ahead of their match against Sunrisers Hyderabad and on Wednesday, he had a long batting session at the nets.
When asked about his possible inclusion in the side for Thursday’s game, Manhas said, “He is fit to play and he is practising hard at the nets. However, the team management will take a decision on when he will play his first game for us.”
First Published: Apr 19, 2017 20:25 IST