The Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) team management coped a lot of criticism from experts and former cricketers for persisting with Glenn Maxwell despite the Australian all-rounder failing to provide the goods with the bat in this IPL. on Tuesday KXIP captain KL Rahul finally opened up about the reason behind backing Maxwell for this long after KXIP beat table-toppers Delhi Capitals by 5 wickets to complete a hat-trick of victories in IPL 2020 and stay in the race for play-offs.
Terming Maxwell ‘a great team man’, Rahul said the Australian all-rounder adds balance to the KXIP Playing XI. “Glenn has been batting well in the nets. He is a great team man and we know the balance he brings to the table,” Rahul told host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
Against Delhi Capitals, Maxwell finally showed sings of returning back to form when he scored a crucial 32 – which is Maxwell’s highest score so far in IPL 2020 – to help KXIP chase down the 165-run target in Dubai.
“Obviously when 11 guys are playing. Not everyone will have a good on the field. It is important for the team that they back the match winners,” Rahul said in the post-match press conference.
Rahul, who is the current highest scorer of the 13th edition of IPL, said Maxwell’s return to form is a good sign for KXIP as he can be very dangerous when in full flow.
“We know what Maxwell can do when he comes good, he gives solidarity to the team and he balances out the team really well. To have Maxi come in the form is a very good sign and every batsman loves to hit the ball and spend some time in the middle,” he added.
Interestingly in the pre-match show on Star Sports, legendary West Indies cricketer Brian Lara had actually defended KXIP for continuing with Maxwell. Lara said Maxwell’s off-spin can come in handy and he can contribute to the team’s success with the ball.
Interestingly, Rahul opened the bowling with Maxwell after DC had opted to bat first. He also picked up the important wicket of Rishabh Pant and finished with impressive figures of 1 for 31 in his 4 overs.
With this win, KXIP has gone to the fifth position in the points table with 8 points from 10 matches while Delhi Capitals is still at the top of the table with 14 points from 10 matches.
“Yaa it’s important that guys who haven’t really found form, they find their form. Lots of things falling in place. The work put in by coaches and boys is slowly started to show on the field and hopefully, we can build from here,” the KXIP skipper said.
KXIP will next take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on October 24 at the Dubai International Stadium.
(With ANI inputs)