Mohali: Kings XI Punjab batsman Mayank Agarwal Saturday lauded his team's clinical performance in their comfortable eight-wicket win against Mumbai Indians in an IPL encounter.
Having contributed a quickfire 43 off 21 balls, Agarwal said that while chasing a target of 177, the idea was to stay calm and focused to achieve the target.
KL Rahul (71) and Chris Gayle's (40) knocks helped the Punjab side to achieve the target with eight balls to spare.
Agarwal said that initially, MI didn't give Rahul any loose balls.
"To be honest, they bowled well, they didn't give him too many loose balls and bowled tight to him. It was not easy for him to go out there and get runs, so once we realised that, we rallied around. That's what a good team does and we are very happy that we could do it as a side," Agarwal said addressing a post-match press conference here.
Asked what was his thinking when he came in to bat after Gayle's dismissal, "thought process was to actually play good cricketing strokes. The wicket was good, the ball was coming on to the bat. We had got a 50-run partnership.
"The other thought was as soon as I went in, I spoke to Rahul and he said if we get another 50-60 run partnership, we can definitely put them under the pump because we will have lot of wickets in hand. And on a good wicket we could definitely put pressure on them."
He said the thinking was if Punjab could restrict Mumbai within 180 runs particularly after the start they got would be a good effort from our bowlers "and we did that".
"Because wicket got a little better to bat on under lights and it was a good chase for us," he said.
Asked that chasing a tricky score a team can lose its way trying to go too fast, Agarwal said "the talk in the dressing room and the team is that as a batting unit we need to play good strokes, be calm, stay within your strike zone and pick the areas you are strong at and go about it.
"If I have to look at it as a batting team, I thought we were very very clinical, we didn't take any risks, we got two points and got the job done, nothing is better than that. And winning by eight wickets, having wickets in hand obviously gives us a lot of confidence in our batsmen."
Mumbai's bowling coach Shane Bond felt 176 was a winning score, but credited Rahul for the way he batted.
He felt that Mumbai opener Quinton de Kock's dismissal at crucial juncture was the turning point for his team, which was poised for a big total at that stage.
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MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene said Rohit was kept out of the game as a precautionary measure.
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"If India are looking to groom a new captain, then KL Rahul can be looked at. He has performed well."