David Warner, the SRH skipper, expressed his disappointment at the lack of power-hitting in the middle overs in their loss against KKR in IPL 2020, saying it’s “unacceptable” to consume the number of dot balls that his batsmen did.
Warner opted to bat first after winning the toss in Abu Dhabi, a change from the usual pattern of bowling first so far in the tournament, but his side could post only 142-4 in their 20 overs. At the end of the tenth over, which also saw the dismissal of Warner on 36, SRH were placed at 61-2, but managed only 38 runs in the next five overs.
Wriddhiman Saha, batting at four, was dismissed for a sluggish 31-ball 30 in the 20th over, with Abhishek Sharma getting to play only three deliveries, and the padded-up Priyam Garg and Rashid Khan not getting a go.
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“I don’t know where it went wrong,” Warner said in the post-match press conference. “We just can’t be having two batsmen on the bench batting 20 overs. We could have been a little bit harder in the middle period – we played four or five overs in the middle period, when I got out, for 20 runs. We need to apply a bit more pressure to the bowlers and try and hit more boundaries in the middle period.”
“The thing I am more disappointed about is the dots – I think there was 35-36 dot balls which in T20 cricket is not acceptable.”
Warner defended his decision to bat first, saying that their strength lay “in death bowling”, and also stuck by the logic to send Saha in at four to stitch a partnership. While he took “full responsibility for not batting out the KKR bowlers”, he admitted that the side was easily “20-30 runs short” of what they should have eventually ended with.
“Saha ahead of Nabi – You need to put a genuine batsman in. When I got out, you got to try and build a partnership. It’s easier to say ‘Send a pinch-hitter in’ or whatnot, you gotta generate some momentum. With myself getting out, you got to build a partnership. It was unfortunate they bowled well, pulled their lengths back and you couldn’t do anything.
“We were 20-30 runs short. If you don’t put the right total on the board, it’ll be difficult to defend anyway. It’s a learning curve for everyone. You need to try and figure out the bigger boundaries, which area to score and we got a good look at this wicket moving to the next game.”