- RCB clinched a 10-wicket win after bowling out KXIP for 88 in Indore.
- KXIP slipped out of the top four on the points table after the crushing defeat.
- KXIP will face Mumbai Indians on the road on Wednesday, May 16.
Virat Kohli was brimming with confidence after the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) crushed the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by 10 wickets in a crucial Indian Premier League (IPL) outing in Indore on Monday, May 14.
Having won two matches on the trot, an upbeat Kohli, who had a big smile on his face at the presentation ceremony, shed light on how the mood in the camp has improved. The Bangalore-based franchise, who were reeling at the bottom last week, is now two wins away from a possible playoff spot.
On the other hand, R Ashwin cut a dejected figure at the post-match press conference. The skipper's body language was reflective of the mood in the home team's dressing room.
KXIP had won six of their first seven games and were looking set to reach the playoffs early. However, after 12 matches, the Preity Zinta co-owned side are yet to seal a spot in the knockout stages. The team is going through a difficult patch, having lost three on the trot and six of their last seven.
A shocking batting show on Monday (88 all out in 15.1 overs) made sure the Kings XI's Net Run Rate took a huge beating. Eventually, Ashwin's men have fallen out of the top four on the points table. They still have a good chance to make the playoffs but they have made it difficult for themselves after some inconsistent performances.
KXIP not among top sides this season: Ashwin
Skipper Ashwin, who hasn't managed to help KXIP arrest the slide, made a shocking claim Monday when he said he never considered the Punjab-based franchise "a top, champion side".
The 31-year-old said he expected a slide in the second half of the tournament, especially after the team had "punched above its weight" in the initial stages.
"We are not one of the top, champion sides, to be very honest. We are one of those sides that punched way above its weight in the first half of the competition," Ashwin said.
The skipper added: "To be very precise, I did expect a run like this to happen to us but not this much. Probably, I thought, we might have won a game or two more and already secured the 14 or 16 points.
"We have lost three on the bounce, maybe we can't lose another one on the bounce, I hope. Mumbai [next venue] is a place where there is a lot of bounce. The foreign batsmen love it and hopefully, they come good. And KL (Rahul) is batting well. It's just a matter of time, one of them will get going. Maybe we can get three hundreds and win the tournament."
Kohli reveals how Mujeeb's absence led to KXIP's downfall
KXIP have been over-reliant on one or two stars in both the bowling and batting units. While Chris Gayle and Rahul have done the bulk of the scoring, the likes of Andrew Tye and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have been the only ones to find consistent success with the ball.
The absence of their mystery spinner Mujeeb, as Kohli revealed, had put a lot of pressure not just on the bowling unit but also on the batsmen, who were facing the pressure of setting a big total to RCB on a small ground.
"We knew that they will try extra with their mystery spinner not playing. We knew we could bank on that factor. They were trying to get 30 extra due to that. The big shot kept coming and we kept taking wickets," Kohli said.
KXIP need to pick themselves up and they have very little time to do so as they will be playing Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday, May 16. The defending champions are in a desperate situation as well as they need to win their last two matches to keep themselves in contention for the playoffs.