As the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) rolls on it has been once again an all too dismal theme for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). If seven losses out of and being rooted rock-bottom in the points table was reason enough for simmering discontent in the KXIP camp then all of it erupted after team coach Sanjay Bangar was at the receiving end of some serious verbal diarrhea by co-owner Preity Zinta.
Agreed that though Preity is no Cardus but then was all of it really required? Though both parties have vehemently denied of any such incident happening but reports from a leading tabloid do confirm that the actress did dish out the ‘F’ word on numerous occasions during an emotion charged monologue in the team dug-out post the agonizing one-run loss to RCB. The report further states that Preity also threatened to sack Sanjay.
And the most embarrassing part for the ex-India international was that of the entire drama unfolding in presence of his entire team leaving him no place to hide. The bone of contention was that of Preity believing that Sanjay’s decision to promote Farhaan Behardien over Axar Patel to bat cost them the game against RCB. Not to forget that Sanjay represented the country in all of 12 Tests and 15 ODI’s (from 2001-04) and has firmly established his coaching credentials as is evident by his work as Team India’s batting coach as for now.
Farhaan or Axar?
Also a closer look during those ending moments of the game does suggest that Preity’s ‘belief’ (excluding the ‘F’s’ of course!) does carry some logic as Behardien never looked good enough to finish off the match (He could only muster 9 runs off 7 deliveries). Apart from a solitary boundary Behardien’s inability to clear the ropes was definitely a factor which went against KXIP in that game. And who knows a big hit or two from the South African could definitely have tilted the game in KXIP’s favor.
On to Axar and the all-rounder had recently smashed 21 off 7 deliveries in a loss to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) earlier in the tournament which proves as to how potent he could be when batting during a tense run-chase. Now though we may never know as to why Bangar did not promote Axar over Behardien against RCB still as things stand KXIP looked destined to finish in the bottom half of the tournament for the second consecutive season.
Qualification for the play-off stages is virtually impossible for KXIP now and it remains to be seen as to what they can salvage from the rest of the tournament. A ‘Good Enough’ proposition for both Preity and Sanjay to bury the hatchet?
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)