‘Father Wanted Me to Always Stay Not Out,’ Says Mandeep After 66*
Mandeep Singh lost his father before KXIP’s last match. He scored a 66 to help KXIP beat KKR. He remained not out.
With a license to play his natural game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) opener Mandeep Singh blossomed on Monday and scored an unbeaten 66 to guide his team to an emphatic eight-wicket win. He also remembered his late father's instruction to remain not out after every innings and did exactly that.
"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," Mandeep, who lost his father a couple of days ago, disclosed after helping his team notch a fifth win on the trot and move up to the fourth spot on the points table.
“This was very special. My father always used to tell me you should remain not out in the game. I finished the game. This one is definitely for him. Even if I scored a double hundred or a hundred, he used to ask me, 'Why did you go out?',” he said during the post-match presentation.
Speaking about his innings, Mandeep said he had a word with skipper and opening partner KL Rahul before the innings about the pace he wanted to bat on.
“My role was to score quicker, but I wasn't comfortable doing it. So I told Rahul if I play my natural game, I can see this through. So he was okay with me taking my time and he went after the bowling. I just told Chris he should never retire. He is the World Boss. He is too good,” added Mandeep.
Mandeep and Chris Gayle (51 off 29 balls) raised 100 runs for the second wicket that took their team to the brink of victory.
"He 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," he said.
Gayle said that the team needed some sort of momentum to get that will power and the feeling that it can do it. He disclosed that coach Anil Kumble asked the senior players to step up and win games for the team.
"Glad that myself and Mandeep put our hands up. The youngsters in the team are saying 'Don't retire.' That was Mandeep," said Gayle.
"I have been doing some off the field training with the trainer when I wasn't playing. I am feeling good, hitting the gym. You have that good feeling about yourself and about the team, capitalising on it as much as possible. We are happy now, but still a long way to go," said the West Indian.
The outcome of the game means the mid-table traffic further intensifies with Rajasthan Royals (RR) - they have 10 points from 12 games -- and SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) -- eight points from 11 matches -- still holding a slender chance of making it to the playoffs.
Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, and Royal Challengers Bangalore are the top three teams with 14 points each. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.
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