By Cricket Country Staff
Bangalore: May 3, 2012
Kings XI Punjab’s (KXIP) wicket-keeper Nitin Saini, who played a match winning half century to see his side through and ensured that they move to the number four position in the Indian Premier League (IPL) standings, said he was pleased to make his start count.
“Finally, I got some runs today. Initially, I got off to a good start in a couple of games, but missed on to the opportunities. Luckily, I got it today,” he said.
He made the best use of the opportunity he was granted after getting a chance to play in the starting XI, following Adam Gilchrist’s injury, by scoring a match winning half century.
About Gilchrist, Saini said, “He is my favourite wicketkeeper-batsman. He has just been asking me to wait for my opportunities and telling me that things will fall in place for me. He just asked me to play my natural game and backed me completely, and I got the result.”
He added, “It’s very difficult to fill in his shoes. I am just trying to make my own place. He is irreplaceable, and we all know it.”
The quick fire knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ensured KXIP’s victory with four wickets to spare. The wicket-keeper batsman played a calculative knock to overcome the target of 160 set by RCB
“I have played a lot of games in this ground, so I know that everything is chaseable here if you play positively. It’s a very good wicket to bat on and we knew that we can chase this target down if we bat to our potential. Our top order got some runs and we managed to pull it through. We did collapse a bit in the later overs; but that’s just cricket,” Saini said to iplt20.com.
With this victory, KXIP’s chances to qualify for the playoffs have been boosted and Saini is optimistic about his team’s chances in this edition. “The mood has been just amazing. I cannot put it in words. This is the best season that KXIP is having. I hope we can carry on the way we are doing it.”
He added, “The table has been very balanced this year. You never know which team will make it through to the playoffs. It’s very tricky as well, so you can’t take any game lightly; and its good for the IPL.”