If we learn to handle pressure better, we will be among top teams: Rahul

Dubai, Oct 02 (PTI): Punjab Kings skipper K L Rahul says his team can make the IPL play-offs consistently if it learns to handle pressure better and not lose games from commanding positions.
Punjab Kings, who tend to snatch defeat from jaws of victory, beat Kolkata Knight Riders here on Friday to keep their play-off hopes alive.
“I’ll take the two points,” said Rahul at the post-match presentation when asked about his side being part of another tense finishes. KKR made 165 for seven and Punjab got home with three balls to spare.
“We played it smartly. Realised it was a decent wicket and can’t experiment too much. We went slightly defensive with the ball. There wasn’t much spin and wanted to make the batters hit to the bigger side. “With the bat also we’ve given clear roles to the players. Obviously we want to finish games. The win will give us confidence and hopefully we’ll build on it,” said Rahul who scored a match-winning 67. Rahul had to leave out spinner Harpreet Brar who has done well for the team. “These are things that kill me as a captain. Don’t want to leave out the Indian boys. With a heavy heart had to leave Harpreet out. Had to see what would be our best XI with Chris (Gayle) leaving the bubble.”
He also praised Shahrukh Khan who finished the game for Punjab.
“Shahrukh has been batting brilliantly in the nets. Saw how strong he is in the first phase. He’s asking a lot of questions and wanting to finish games.
“Today he played proper cricket shots, got a few boundaries and we all know he can hit the ball a long way. He can finish games, has done it for Tamil Nadu.” Asked about the play-off changes, he added: “Often we’ve put too much pressure on ourselves. Everybody knows we are a far better team. Putting too much pressure on ourselves is not helping. Every game we’ve fought till the end.”
“If we can handle pressure, we will be among the top teams,” he added.

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