The PBKS skipper conceded he could have been more attacking with his field placements as Sunrisers Hyderabad cruised to a nine-wicket win in Chennai.
SRH never broke a sweat while chasing PBKS’ target of 121. David Warner and Jonny Bairstow gave the side a solid start before Kane Williamson joined the Englishman to help SRH register their first win of the season.
KL Rahul spoke to Danny Morrison after the game and explained why SRH’s opening pair didn’t allow him to set up attacking fields during the game.
“Hindsight is a beautiful thing. Obviously, we knew Jonny and David are their key batters. When they batted the first six overs, ( I knew) they are going to come hard, so it is a bit tricky to have attacking fields. I was waiting for one of them to get out and we could have put some pressure. That was my thinking. Going back, think I could have attacked a little bit more but we wanted to take the game as deep as we can,” admitted KL Rahul.
SRH came into the game having failed to chase down totals in their first three games.
But Kane Williamson’s return steadied the ship, and the team were helped by Warner and Bairstow notching up 73/0 in the first ten overs. Looking back at the game, KL Rahul rued his side’s inability to pick up wickets during the middle-overs.
“We know Sunrisers have lost three and if we take the game deep and get a couple of wickets together that could have set some panic in the dressing room. But unfortunately, we couldn’t get wickets in the middle and that cost us,” KL Rahul explained.
KL Rahul won the toss and decided to bat first, but the team failed to make the most of the advantage. The top order failed to get runs, while the middle-order couldn’t convert their starts as wickets fell around them.
PBKS failed to bat their 20 overs as they were all-out for 120, in what was their first game in Chennai.
Rather than blame the new surroundings, KL Rahul felt his side’s inability to convert their starts cost them in a match where five of their batsmen went past ten runs.
“We knew what to expect having watched the games that happened here. Tried to get used to the conditions as quickly as we can. But we did fall short, I think we were 10-15 runs short on this pitch. A few batters after getting set couldn’t go through and get those 30s or 40s which would have made the difference for us in the end. The bowlers tried as well, tried very hard. It is very hard coming into new conditions and adapting quickly. Hopefully, we’ll learn from this mistake. We have a game here again in a few days and hopefully, we can get a win,” KL Rahul mentioned.
“Every game from now is going to be important for us” - KL Rahul
The disappointing loss means the Punjab Kings drop to last in the points table with a negative NRR of -0.824.
They need to get their act together if they harbor hopes of making it to the playoffs, and KL Rahul stressed the importance of stringing a couple of wins to get the momentum going.
“Every game from now is going to be important for us. Punjab Kings have always been in that situation where we get to a point where we have to win everything. It is not a bad place to be in to be honest. Just go out there and play with some freedom and get a couple of victories together. That will do us a lot of good as a group and hopefully we learn from our mistakes and keep getting better,” KL Rahul concluded.
Punjab Kings will now take on defending champions Mumbai Indians on April 23, in what will be their last game in Chennai.