Teams not holding back while chasing, hence winning: Punjab’s Abbott

Kolkata, May 3 (IANS) Kings XI Punjab pacer Kyle Abbott on Tuesday said he believes majority of the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches are being won by the team batting second because of the fact that they do not hold back while trying to chase down a target.

“We are all having a discussion to come up with a right solution. I think teams batting first are conservative. Whereas coming in second they have a target where they want to reach as quickly as possible,” Abbott told reporters here at the pre-match day where his side takes on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

“Batting first you hold back a bit but batting second you just let go and try and chase it down.”

The main concern for the franchise who are at the bottom of the table this season has been the off-form of their two main big-hitters, David Miller and Glen Maxwell. But Abbott reckoned they would be back to their best soon.

“They have not been in the greatest form, but it is not because of lack of practice. That is just unfortunate that they have failed to hit form in a crucial time like this.

“I am sure they will come back. We all have seen glimpses of it, David has been getting a few 30s here and there and Maxi’s (Maxwell) got a 50 and a 30 finishing a game for us against Pune. I think hopefully in the second half they will give better results,” the South African said.

Punjab’s recent win came as left-arm spinner Axar Patel’s four wickets in five balls helped Kings XI beat table toppers Gujarat Lions. Speaking about his teammate’s performance Abbott said: “A lot of people did not realise it was a hat trick — kind of took a little while to get at it as it was in parts. But it was an excellent effort from Axar, which put us in a winning position.

“We have been waiting for a bowling performance like this.”

Punjab are presently languishing at the bottom of the table with just two wins from seven games but Abbott felt they are still in the race to make the last four.

“We are probably better than what the results show at the moment. It is important to get off to a good start which unfortunately we did not but this is a tournament which allows you to have a bad start,” Abbott said.

“Last year Mumbai did it and they again did it this year. But then you have to find your rhythm going into the last seven games. Still all to play for.”

The 28-year-old also said the change of captain — Murali Vijay taking over from David Miller — has been smooth and he is looking forward to playing under the out-of-favour Indian opener.

“It was quite a smooth transition. Vijay is a senior player and even when David was captain he had something to say. He was never in the background, always got involved. It is just a different voice now. I think he will do well in the next couple of games, looking forward to it,” he said.

Abbott added there has not been any standout bowler for him in the tournament.



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