Mohali, May 5 (IANS) Kings XI Punjab’s (KXIP) journey in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 came to an end as the team could garner only six wins from 14 games and collect 12 points and skipper Ravichandran Ashwin felt his team needed to build a core group to keep going for the next few seasons.
Despite being out of the play-offs race, Punjab ended the tournament on a winning note by defeating Chennai Super Kings by six wickets, thanks to opener KL Rahul’s 36-ball 71-run knock.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Ashwin said: “It was not easy for us. But we haven’t been outplayed much in many games, except against Sunrisers Hyderabad. We just have not been able to close out the humdingers.”
“There are a few reasons. We didn’t close out games, particularly in the powerplay and middle overs. I feel when teams plan and come back to us, we need to respond properly. They (CSK) have played together for a long time. We haven’t qualified. We have to build a core group to keep going for the next few seasons. CSK has a fulcrum of how they go about things. It’s same with MI. SRH does it differently,” he remarked.
Speaking about his plans for the team and auction for this year’s league, the off-spinner said most teams did well because they retained key players.
“We have to look at that. We have to post a score that one can defend. Some of the best teams do that very consistently. Varun was a massive idea in the auction, so that we didn’t have to play a foreign spinner. Auctions are very unpredictable. Many teams have done well because they have retained about 5 players. I would like to bring forward the vision for the franchise,” he said.