Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul said he never stopped believing even though Rajasthan Royals continued to creep uncomfortably closer to the target of 222 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
To make matters worse for the visitor, Sanju Samson, who scored the first hundred of the IPL 2021 season on Monday, was still at the crease when the last over commenced with only 13 runs required to get.
“I didn’t stop believing. As a team we didn’t stop believing. It went deep only because we dropped some sitters… me included. We bowled well until about 11-12 overs. We’re used to this and it’s not something new for us,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
When asked why he went for pacer Arshdeep Singh in the last over, Rahul said, “I always go to Arshdeep for crucial overs and he enjoys the pressure. He loves being in the contest and I love throwing him the ball, and he trusts himself and trusts his skills, so that’s always good to see.”
The 22-year-old pacer ended up conceding only eight off the last six balls to help his team romp home to bag the first two points of the season.
Rahul went onto to heap praise on batsmen Deepak Hooda and Chris Gayle, saying, “It was an amazing innings from Hooda, and that’s the kind of fearless batting we want to see in the IPL.
“We have been tentative sometimes, and it’s important for us to play fearlessly at times, so I am happy that the expectations are being understood and met. Gayle and Hooda were both good that way.”