CHENNAI: Punjab Kings (PK) head coach Anil Kumble was all praise for the team’s 20-year-old spinner, Ravi Bishnoi, who flummoxed the Mumbai Indian (MI) batsmen and took two crucial scalps in the nine-wicket win against the defending Indian Premier League (IPL) champions on Friday.
In a low-scoring match, MI could only put up 131 for six on the board. Punjab Kings finished the match in 17.4 overs with skipper KL Rahul scoring an unbeaten 60.
Bishnoi sent a short-of-a-length slider across off stump, which MI top-order batsman Ishan Kishan looked to cut but got a thin edge straight into the gloves of wicket-keeper KL Rahul.
The Punjab Kings spinner then got rid of the well-set Suryakumar Yadav, who tried to reverse-sweep the bowler over backward point but got a top edge to Chris Gayle.
“Bish (Bishnoi) played all the matches in the last season… when he came here, I thought he was not the same bowler we had seen last year. I worked on his run-up and a few other things because he was drifting down the leg side even in practice games. That’s why he didn’t start the tournament earlier,” said Kumble.
But, I think, over the last week or so, his commitment, his focus is now sorted; he’s back. It’s wonderful to see him (bowl so well). He’s always a competitor; you can see that. And to pick up a couple of wickets in an important game like this is great,” the coach added.
Kumble was really pleased with the way every member of the team played his part in the win against the defending champions. “I’m happy with the win, it’s not an easy pitch to play on and to adapt to the conditions. After the SRH (Sunrisers Hyderabad) loss, where we thought we could have put another 15-20 runs on the board which would have sort of helped us cross the line, we are happy we did it today.
“I thought the team batted really well and bowled exceptionally well. On a surface like this, you need to execute your plan and that’s something we did exceptionally well. Kudos to (KL) Rahul and the way he handled the bowlers (Mohammed) Shami, (Deepak) Hooda, Moises (Henriques) at the start and Bish (Bishnoi). Everyone sort of played their part,” said Kumble.
The coach felt that the win will give the team a lot of confidence given that it had beaten the defending champions. “Yes, it will give a lot of confidence to all of us; Mayank (Agarwal) and (KL) Rahul putting up that 40-plus partnership and then the Universe Boss (Chris Gayle) and Rahul finishing things off. Overall, really happy that things went well and now we’re looking forward to the next leg in Ahmedabad.”