Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin is hopeful that the team management will do its bit to ensure continuity next year, as the formula of buying talented players with big bucks and expecting results right-away doesn’t work in a top-flight tournament like the Indian Premier League.
Despite a six-wicket win against defending champions Chennai Super Kings on Sunday, KXIP, for the second season in a row, have failed to qualify for the playoffs. After the match, Ashwin spoke about retaining the core team as any expensive buys can’t get results overnight.
“If you look at all the successful franchises, they retained the core they got. We really need to start producing players and have that core if you are actually going to be looking to take things forward,” Ashwin said at the post-match media interaction.
“It is not like you are going to buy someone and end up winning the next day, so it is very important for us to keep adding strength to that dressing room, in terms of attitude, in terms of what you bring to the table,” the seasoned off-spinner said.
Ashwin is hopeful that things will change for the better next year. “I think we are well on our way to building something special. We do definitely need a few more players to give us a lending hand, but we are very hopeful of what we have in store for us.”
Having spoken about the team’s shoddy batting in the powerplay overs, Ashwin said that he stood vindicated as KL Rahul’s 36-ball-71 was a testimony to what he had said after an earlier game.
Ashwin praised the young guns of his team – Sam Curran, Nicholas Pooran, Harpreet Brar and Arshdeep Singh – and said they made “telling contributions this year which really adds to the strength of a franchise”.
Losing a few games on the trot does not help the team’s cause in a cut-throat competition like the IPL. “We lost four on the trot before this game, that is not very healthy in a competition like the IPL, where you need to string wins together. If you look at how the table is sitting right now, we could have given ourselves a good chance. You can look at a few games where we had chances to close down victories. We will have to get more and more clinical wins to get to the top,” he said.
Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said that he is not bothered by the one-off defeat against KXIP.
Asked what went wrong when 200 looked easily gettable, Fleming said: ”It was a difficult day. You have to keep an eye on the playoff equations. We were not as good as we could be in the last four overs, they bowled well and stopped our momentum,” said the former New Zealand captain.
“We were aware that we had 14.2 overs to defend the total. The first job for us today was to secure a spot in the top-two, so we have done that. They played the game very well, their batting in the first 8-10 overs was great and it was difficult for us. But we hung on and did enough towards the end to sneak through [maintain top position on the points table]. Now, we look forward to going to Chennai, which is familiar. We will regroup. Our concentration would be on recovering from today’s cricket and a long flight tomorrow,” he added.