Gujarat Lions opener Aaron Finch was all praise for his ‘Champion’ West Indies teammate Dwayne Bravo, who he feels “keeps getting better and better with age”. While Finch got the ‘Man of The Match’ award for his 47-ball-74, it was Bravo who broke the backbone of Kings XI Punjab batting with two crushing yorkers to dismiss Glenn Maxwell and skipper David Miller. From a rollicking 101 for two, KXIP slumped to 102/4.
“He (Bravo) is an enormous guy. He is not slowing down as he keeps getting better and better with age. He brings so much to the table with bat and ball,” Finch complimented the West Indies all-rounder, who could have also walked away with the ‘Player of the Match’ award.
“When you have got two six-hitting guys like Maxwell and Miller --- to get them out in the same over and have two new batters while drying up the runs was absolutely crucial. He has been absolutely brilliant for all teams, West Indies, Melbourne Renegades, Chennai Super Kings and it’s great that he is on our side,” Finch said.
Finch was happy that he was able to smack former Aussie teammate Mitchell Johnson, who was expensive going for 35 in his four over spell. “Mitch gets your heart racing. As he walks to the top of his mark, he can terrorise a batsman. He has terrorised me a lot in the nets. Since the wicket was good and he was coming after an extended break, I thought the best was to get (attack) him fresh.”
The burly opener said that a win first up is always necessary and it was good to get one under the belt. “It was a tough game. The bowlers did drag us back after the fantastic start that Kings XI got. Great to start with win. It’s only game one and it was good to put up a great perfiormance frst up. Hodgy (coach Brad Hodge) and Suresh (Raina) has been great around the group.”
Kings XI Punjab coach Sanjay Bangar admitted that they were 20 runs short off the par-score which could have been in the 180 plus mark. “We were 20 runs short after the start we got. The three wickets that we lost in the 12th and 13th overs set us back big time,” a disappointed Bangar said.
On whether KXIP batsmen should have been more watchful against Bravo, Bangar said: “There are days when the batsmen do get after Bravo. In T20 cricket, you cannot be playing just one particular bowler with a very defensive mindset.
“You still have to keep that intent and look to go after the poor deliveries even a capable bowler bowls. So, you need to show the intent. There are days when he might be successful but then there are days when you can get a lot of runs off him.”