Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner, who once again led from the front with a brilliant innings to fashion the win against Royal Challengers Bangalore, termed the victory as “a massive game for us to win given the number of world-class players RCB has.”
“It is always good to score runs but I am really proud the way my boys rose to the occasion. It was a fantastic knock by Kane (Williamson). Playing in his first game for us this season, he showed his class. As I repeated it is important to have partnerships and it was a terrific one with him that set the tempo. Kane’s batting should ensure us the right kind of balance we were looking for the rest of the games,” a delighted Warner said.
“And, the bowlers delivered the knock-out blows. It is hard to hit the fast bowlers around on this wicket. I am glad that they did the job what I wanted them to do. Credit to them for a wonderful show,” SRH skipper commented.
Referring to the celebrations of RCB chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi with his captain Virat Kohli after getting Warner’s wicket, the SRH captain said he was looking at Virat and didn’t think he was too impressed until he (Shamsi) got a bit closer. “I think it’s a bit hard for a captain to stand there and not go through the emotions. In my team, if someone does that at 150 off 15 overs, I wouldn’t accept it that at all. I think it is a bit fancy to be honest,” he said with a wry smile.
On Bangladesh left-armer Mustafizur Rahman, Warner quipped that the former would have been a little disappointed with his showing against RCB. “He is a terrific guy. He always says no problem to anything. He is young and with room to improving,” the victorious captain said.
“It is a funny game. AB (de Villiers) was dropped a few times or else may be we would have finished the game earlier. There is lot of pressure on the cricketers in general which often leads to mistakes in this format,” Warner remarked.
Death bowling a concern: Rahul
Royal Challengers Bangalore opener K.L. Rahul, who scored a fighting half-century in a lost cause against the home side, felt his team gave away too many runs in the death overs.
“Death bowling is something we need to work on, we have been conceding 15-20 extra runs towards the end,” he felt.
“Whatever we had planned to bowl against Warner and Shikhar together initially, that worked out very well for us. But as the game went on, I think, we gave away too many runs,” Rahul said in the post-match briefing.
“It’s hard to bowl to Warner when he is settled and seeing the ball so well. He has the Orange cap, he has been getting a lot of runs. We knew if we couldn’t get him early, he could cause serious damage and that’s what happened,” the India cricketer commented.
Reflecting on his own batting, Rahul reminded that he has been hitting the ball very well in the nets and even in practice games. “The coaches and the captain were very happy with the way I was batting. It just about time and opportunity and it came in the game against Gujarat Lions and I capitalised. I am very happy with the way I am batting but it’s unfortunate that both my fifties haven’t come in a winning cause,” Rahul explained. “Yes, I need to work harder to get those 20-30 extra runs and help my team to a victory,” he added.
On Chris Gayle, who did not play in the game, Rahul commented that the team management thought it could use the experience of fast bowler Kane Richardson and chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi. “We have been batting well as a batting unit, we have got 180-plus runs in almost all the games. So, we were trying something new in this game and unfortunately it didn’t work out too well for us,” he said. “But, Chris is a big-game player, he is an impact player for our team and I am sure he will be back soon and winning games for us,” Rahul said.
Refusing to engage in any debate on why young talent Sarfaraz Khan did not play against SRH, Rahul gently said he was only a player and could not comment on these topics. “Obviously, we were trying to see what combination is best for us and what works for us. That’s only the reason why we did some changes in this game,” he said.
Questioned whether the RCB bowlers are struggling generally in this edition, Rahul said that in a T-20 format the only way to win is to get wickets. “If you see our last five-six games, we haven’t gotten wickets early on and put pressure on the opposition. It’s big pressure to bowl in the death overs and you can’t blame the bowlers,” he pointed out.
“We have eight more games to go. It is just about one or two wins to get going,” he added.
“We have to sort out our bowling a little bit. With Chris Jordan coming for the next game, he is going to be a big inclusion to our bowling line-up and also lower down the order he can smack a few balls,” Rahul concluded.