Brad Hodge: ‘Rashid Khan had us on back foot’

Gujarat Lions’ coach Brad Hodge felt that batting second would have helped the side against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The 18-year-old Rashid Khan of Sunrisers Hyderabad is the purple cap holder now with five wickets after two matches in the IPL.   -  Sportzpics

Shortly after his side crashed to defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday evening, Gujarat Lions’ coach Brad Hodge felt that batting second would have helped the side.

“Batting second would have been suitable on this wicket,” rued Hodge.

Sunrisers Hyderabad won the toss and put the Lions to bat. Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneshwar Kumar tormented the Lions before Rashid Khan starred once again with the ball. Rashid ended with 3/19 and the Lions’ head coach was full of praise for the current purple cap holder. Hodge also lauded the efforts of Lions’ spinner Tejas Baroka.

“Rashid (Khan) had us on the back foot, bowling pretty well... Tejas Baroka showed courage in his first game. He did a good job, with skill and control. It’s just that David (Warner) and Moises (Henriques) were in good form,” he pointed out.

After two defeats and yet to open its account in the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table, Hodge confessed that star Indian all-rounder was missed in the line-up.

“(Ravindra) Jadeja is tough to replace as bowler, batsman and fielder. He will make a difference when he’s back,” he said with positivity.

On the success of the leggies in the tournament so far, he said their wrong ones were a threat to right-handers. “Their art of spin is deception. They can pose a threat to the left-handers too. The variation they bring is critical to the game,” he observed.

“The three quick wickets we lost early and the 135 was not good enough, despite good knocks from (Dwayne) Smith and (Dinesh) Karthik. It is a long tournament and there’s plenty of time to regroup and it will be nice to get some wins. It’s early in the tournament and we are searching for answers,” said the placid-faced mentor.

Sunrisers aim to maintain momentum

Bipul Sharma was full of praise for Rashid. He said: “The team did really well. What made Rashid’s effort special was he bowled to the right areas, especially his googlies.”

Whether he was assigned a specific role when opening the bowling for the host, the orthodox left-arm spinner said that T20 was a fast format, with bowlers required to simply take wickets and contain the batsmen. He added that the move to start with spinners was because the wicket was slow and would take turn.

The Sunrisers were also happy to see Warner back among the runs.

For what lay ahead for the Sunrisers, Bipul said: “We’ve been doing the right things and hope we keep doing what we are doing now.”