Right time to achieve 10-point mark: Ravichandran Ashwin

Vastavam web: Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin believes his team bounced back in the tournament at the right time and lavished praise on young pacer Arshdeep Singh for taking two crucial wickets on his IPL debut. After suffering successive losses, KXIP Tuesday brought their campaign back on track with a comprehensive 12-run win over Rajasthan Royals at home to grab the fourth spot in the table with 10 points.

“It was very important to get that 10-point mark and I guess it’s the right time in the tournament to do that,” said Ashwin at the post-match presentation.
“It is very tough to defend here, the wicket generally gets better in the second half. We probably thought we were 10-15 runs short on this pitch.” Defending the total, 20-year-old Arshdeep provided a big breakthrough for Punjab when he dismissed the big-hitting opener Jos Buttler early.

“I thought Arshdeep bowled really well in the first few overs. We had some plans for Jos and he really executed well,” Ashwin said. Talking about his game, Ashwin said: “For me, it’s about getting various lengths with different speeds and trying to get the batsman with under cutter and reverse carrom. I worked on a lot of things despite people actually calling me for trying too many things, I kept on going.”

Not in the initial scheme of things for Punjab, David Miller, who made it to the playing XI after Moises Henriques suffered an ankle injury at the last minute, contributed with 40 runs. “Most of the changes are actually forced, we got Moises into the eleven today. He was actually handed the cap but unfortunately he got injured in the last minute. Miller wasn’t playing but he came in and played a vital hand for us, he took a couple of catches as well,” he said.

“Mujeeb also I thought was brilliant, he went for a few runs but we got the wicket up front. We are waiting on Mujeeb’s status (injury) and Moises (Henriques) seems okay,” he added, referring to the spinner, who went off the field after bowling three overs due to a shoulder injury. “182 on that wicket was quite chaseable. We started well. Just a matter of two sixes,” he said. “A game like this, you can’t criticise too much. Our bowlers bowled well. In a chase like this, you can’t lose too many wickets in a bunch.