KL Rahul: The losing captain talked about his dismissal, non-execution of plans and an unusual batting order tonight.
Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul has admitted that they couldn’t execute their plans across departments in the recently concluded 20th match of the 15th season of the Indian Premier League at the Wankhede Stadium.
Chasing a 166-run target, Super Giants surprisingly promoted all-rounders Krishnappa Gowtham (0) and Jason Holder (8) to No. 3 and 4 respectively. In addition to Rahul (0), Gowtham and Holder combined for a top-order failure against the new ball.
“These kind of totals can be a bit tricky, at times. Plan was to throw the bowlers off their lengths a bit but didn’t happen. But we’re a side that would continue to try being unpredictable in the coming games too,” Rahul told Star Sports during the post-match presentation ceremony.
While Rahul’s decision of bowling first worked for an extended period, his bowlers not being able to contain Rajasthan Royals batter Shimron Hetmyer (59*) nullified all the progress made in the first 15 overs. Hetmyer, hitting a four and six sixes at a strike rate of 163.88, made the most of opposition bowlers bowling poor lengths to home especially in the death overs.
“We couldn’t execute our plans at the end; the yorkers and other plans. If you miss your plans, batters these days will put you in trouble. We’ll try to work harder and handle the pressure better. One bad game won’t change things, will be a good learning for us,” Rahul said.
KL Rahul admits failing to see Trent Boult wicket-taking delivery
It is rare for a batter of Rahul’s class to register two first-ball ducks within a five-match period. While Rahul’s defense was breached by Mohammed Shami in their tournament opener against Gujarat Titans, a cunning Trent Boult bowled an in-swinging delivery from around the stumps to not let Rahul open his account tonight.
Being asked about his dismissal, the 29-year old player admitted to failing to even spot the delivery. “I didn’t see it [smiles sheepishly]. If I did, I could have done something about it. Have to give it to him [Trent Boult]. Was a good ball,” Rahul added.
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While Lucknow promoted Gowtham and Holder in the batting order, another all-rounder in Marcus Stoinis was sent in to bat at No. 8 in the 16th over. Needing 60 runs in four overs, Stoinis did try hard to secure a victory with his 38* (17) comprising of two fours and four sixes but it wasn’t to be as IPL debutant Kuldeep Sen defended 15 runs in the last over.
Labeling Stoinis’ demotion as a “plan”, Rahul touched upon the presence of several all-rounders in their Playing XI inspiring them to be “unpredictable” by shuffling the batting order.
“At the end, it was excellent from [Marcus] Stoinis to get it close and to do it in his first game of the season will give him confidence. It was always a plan [to hold him back]. We know how dangerous he can be in the last five overs. As I said, we have a lot of all-rounders, so many options and so we could shuffle the batting order a bit. We like to be a bit unpredictable a bit,” Rahul concluded.
Not that Rahul’s answers and Super Giants’ plans didn’t make sense but the fact of the matter is that neither of the two were needed to experiment so much in this match. Stoinis, who was included into the Playing XI in place of Evin Lewis, could’ve easily batted at No. 3 like Lewis. The rest of the batting order, which had shown promise in the first four matches, could have continued as it is.