IPL 2020: 'The most genuinely happy cricketer I know,' Kohli lauds Mandeep for courageous knock vs KKR
Virat Kohli praised Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Mandeep Singh for his “Lion-Hearted” knock against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Monday.
Virat Kohli praised Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Mandeep Singh for his "Lion-Hearted" knock against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Monday.
Kohli dedicated an Instagram story for Mandeep, lost his father on Friday before he played a match for KXIP the following day. Mandeep scored a match-winning half-century to lead KXIP to their fifth successive victory in the ongoing IPL 2020 on Monday.
During KXIP's chase of 150 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Mandeep first built a 47-run opening partnership with his skipper KL Rahul. After KKR's mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy dismissed the latter to leave KXIP at 47 for 1 in 8 overs, Chris Gayle walked out to join Mandeep at the crease. The two put up 100 runs for the second wicket as Gayle unleashed the storm with a Player of the Match knock of 51 from 29 balls, including two fours and five sixes.
Mandeep, who dedicated his unbeaten 66 from 56 balls to his late father, has impressed the cricket fraternity with his brave efforts since the tragedy, including Indian cricket team captain Kohli.
Kohli said Mandeep is the most genuinely happy cricketer he knows and lauded the 28-year-old batsman for his courageous knock. "The most genuinely happy cricketer I know. To do what you've done in this testing time is because of your faith in life and your positive attitude. Well played shera. He's blessing you from above. @mandeeps12 Lionhearted," Kohli wrote in his Instagram story.
Speaking at the post-match presentation after KXIP's eight-wicket win over KKR on
Monday, Mandeep said that his father always wanted him to remain not out in all the matches.
"This was very special. My father always used to tell me to remain not out in every game, definitely special. He always used to tell me, whether you score 100 or 200, you should be not out. I had a talk with Rahul before the start of the game. Last game I was trying to score quicker and I'm always comfortable doing that. I told Rahul if I play my normal game, I will win the game and I had the belief. He (Rahul) told me to back my game and play the way I want to play, pretty happy with the win. He (Gayle) was just telling me to keep batting and play till the end and I just told him that he should never retire. He is too good. We are very excited," added Mandeep.
With the win, KXIP moved to fourth place in the IPL 2020 points table, while KXIP slipped to No. 5 with as many points. After failing to convert good starts into victories in the initial stages of the IPL 2020, Rahul-led KXIP have now won five straight matches in the IPL, and thereby, they have kept the hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive. KXIP will next lock horns against Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Friday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.