Batsman Mandeep Singh has praised the Kings XI Punjab's collective effort to remain in contention for a berth in the Indian Premier League 2020 playoffs.
Punjab were at the bottom of the tournament's eight-team standings prior to a five-match winning streak. The fifth victory was against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.
“It's just the self-belief that we've shown in the last few games. No matter what, we have to keep the Punjabi fight in every game,” said Singh.
“We are one of the best groups in IPL and we should play with freedom. Now games are going our way. We were unlucky initially but we were playing good cricket. We just needed to finish games. We focused on the process and now luck is also favouring us.”
Singh's Previous IPL Teams
Singh represented the Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore before joining Punjab. He has been opening the batting alongside captain KL Rahul in the absence of the injured Mayank Agarwal. The right-hander struck 66 not out in Monday's win over KKR.
Mandeep's Relationship with Gayle
Gayle was named player of the match, though, after hitting 51 from 29 deliveries. The half-century was the 30th of a prolific IPL career. This innings featured two fours and five sixes.
“I've been very lucky that I've played with guys like Chris, AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli. And I started with Chris in 2010 with KKR and very fortunate to know him as a friend. He's so humble. He makes the game so easy and I've never seen him struggle,” added Singh.
Punjab have never won the IPL. The Mumbai Indians are the reigning champions. They beat the Chennai Super Kings in the 2019 final. Chennai are no longer in the running for a fourth IPL title. They are currently at the bottom of the standings – and cannot qualify for the playoffs.
This year's IPL is being hosted in the United Arab Emirates, not India. The UAE co-hosted the 2014 IPL with India. The 2020 competition is being played without spectators, as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.