Mohali: 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 in his IPL debut here Tuesday.
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 after KXIP restricted RR to 170 for 7 while chasing 182 for six.
“It’s 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 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.
“He (Arshdeep) can actually swing the ball both ways and for a left-hander to swing both ways is a massive advantage in the first six as we have seen with Deepak Chahar in the CSK,” he added. “We are looking forward to Arshdeep doing some great things in the tournament.”
Ashwin was adjudged the Man of the Match for his two wickets and a terrific cameo of 17 runs of four balls.
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.”