'You can't allow good players like Chahal to enter the game when there's pressure on. We played a good game but just made a couple of silly mistakes.'
Rajasthan Royals bowling coach Lasith Malinga said Yuzvendra Chahal showed why leg-spinners are considered match-winners in the IPL with a brilliant 17th over in which he recorded the first hat-trick of the season.
Chahal (5/40 in 4 overs) removed Venkatesh Iyer off his first delivery in the 17th over and then Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Mavi and Pat Cummins off the fourth, fifth and sixth balls to completely turn the match on its head and hand RR a close seven-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday night.
This was after Jos Buttler's 61-ball 103, his second ton of the season, helped Royals scored an imposing 217 for five.
"Chahal has more international experience. He is the most experienced leg-spinner in the country and in this tournament. He showed how to control the skill. That's more important for him going forward to prove he is good enough to play any competitive cricket," Malinga said at the post-match press conference.
"Leg-spinners have more wicket-taking options and he showed today how he can get wickets and changed the game in a single over. I think he showed all the leg-spinners that they are the match-winning bowlers in this competition."
KKR head coach Brendon McCullum said it was a good game of cricket but Chahal and Buttler simply took away the match from his side.
"You can't allow good players like Chahal to enter the game when there's pressure on. We played a good game but just made a couple of silly mistakes.
"But that's what happens sometimes. Jos Buttler got a hundred on their side, Yuzi Chahal got a five-for including a hat-trick and we lost by seven runs, so we played a good game but ran second," McCullum said.
"With four overs to go, we were in the driver's seat but then some silly mistakes and not being able to handle pressure as well as we should have cost us the game."
With six points from seven games, KKR are currently placed sixth in the points table and the Kiwi said they need stick together as a unit and keep pushing one another.
"From our point of view, we've had three losses in a row and we're going to have to find a way to keep our morale high which is so vitally important. There can be a tendency to run away from things when you haven't got across the line in a couple of key games.
'We just have to keep pushing ourselves, make sure we stick together and stay composed. We've been there before and it's going to test us again this time," MCCullum said.