Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper Ravichandran Ashwin has conceded that his team has a problem in the batting department. KXIP suffered a humiliating 10-wicket defeat at the hands of Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 clash on Monday night. The defeat was the third consecutive defeat for Punjab. First, they lost to Rajasthan Royals followed by Kolkata Knight Riders and then to RCB. Bangalore completely dominated their opponents in the last match after bundling out Kings XI Punjab for a paltry 88 runs, the openers guided their side home without losing a wicket.
"We have a problem with our batting. We are not one of the top champion sides to be very honest, we are one of those sides that punched above our weight in the first half of the competition," Ashwin said after the match.
"To be very precise, I did expect to find ourselves in such a situation, but not this much; probably thought we might have won one or two more games and probably reached 14 or 16 points," he added.
With the loss to RCB, Punjab have slipped to the fifth position in the table.
Commenting on the bad form of the middle-order, Ashwin said, "I played in a franchise before called CSK where one batsman (Murali Vijay) made absolutely no runs during the league stage and then went on to make 95 in the final, big batsmen come good at the big moments. It's not rocket science, you need to have belief."
Earlier, South Africa pacer Dale Steyn also questioned the omission of national teammate David Miller from Punjab's playing XI. Miller has a total of 50 runs in two matches with an unbeaten knock to his name, meaning he averages 50 in IPL 2018.
Yuvraj has been dismal this edition with the bat as he has managed to score just 64 runs in seven matches at a woeful average of 12.80.
Australian batsman Aaron Finch is another batsman who hasn't lived up to the hype. He has failed to get runs managing 84 runs in eight games at an average of 14. Mayank Agarwal is also having a nightmarish tournament having amassed only 120 runs in 11 matches.
Punjab wanted to tweak their middle-order sending Axar Patel up the order but that move has also failed. In seven matches, Axar has scored only 56 runs at an underwhelming batting average of 11.20.