Lucknow: Sunrisers Hyderabad's inability to hold their wickets against quality bowling came to the fore in the match against Lucknow SuperGiants, and their chief coach Brian Lara pointed out that "losing a lot of wickets in clumps" was not helping matters.
SRH lost their second consecutive game in IPL 2023, suffering another big defeat on Friday, with the team managing to put just 121 runs on the board and LSG racing to the target in just 16 overs.
"I think we are losing a lot of wickets in clumps. In the first game, we lost two wickets in the first over. Tonight (Friday), we lost three wickets in seven balls which changed the complexion of the game. So, we definitely have to look at our batting and come up with a solution for it," said the West Indian great during the post-match press conference.
SRH lost the wickets of Anmolpreet Singh, captain Aiden Markram, and Harry Brook in the space of just seven balls in the eighth and ninth overs to slide to 55 for four, and could never recover from the shock on a spin-friendly wicket.
LSG left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya caused mayhem at the top, removing opener Anmolpreet, Mayank Agarwal, and Markram to emerge as the most successful bowler for the winners with figures of 3 for 18.
Lara also said the wicket wasn't conducive for strokeplay, which contributed to his batters not being able to set a par score.
"I think, obviously, today we didn't play on a pitch that was conducive to proper strokeplay. Not using that as an excuse, but I think that we definitely have to improve in our batting." The coach, however, defended the decision to bat first as he thought the pitch would deteriorate in the second innings, which would make the task for his slow bowlers to attack easier.
But, Lara didn't figure out his fragile batting lineup, which is one of the weakest among the 10 teams in the fray.
"I think the pitch was always going to be a turner. We felt that if we got the better part of the pitch, it would be rewarding for us. It was going to deteriorate. We also felt there wasn't much dew on the ground. I thought that there was nothing to worry about." He said a total in the vicinity of 150-160 would be parred for the course, but unfortunately, his batters couldn't achieve the target.
"I think a total of 150-160, you would have seen a different story. As I said, we lost three wickets in seven balls, and that sort of stopped our progress. We weren't going very quickly but we already decided that a total of 140 to 160 would be something that we would be happy with.
Well, the pitch was not conducive to proper strokeplay, as simple as that. But both teams had to play on it and they (LSG) bowled better and they batted better than us on the pitch. So, we have to take responsibility as a team and try to pick ourselves for the next game in less than 48 hours," added Lara.
Lara also conceded LSG's slow bowlers exploited the conditions better and outsmarted his batters.
"Both teams relied on the spin. Obviously, (Amit) Mishra, Krunal, and (Ravi) Bishnoi from LSG bowled well. The ball spun and they also bowled smartly, with the fast bowlers also using the slower balls, the cutters well. As I said, they bowled a lot better and when they started bowling spin, good spin, and good cutters as well, it became difficult for the batters.
"So, even though at one stage we were getting to that first strategic timeout having lost only one wicket, I wasn't too worried about the run rate. I felt that if we kept going at six runs an over, we could get to seven and eventually eight. But, I think, in that period of time we lost Anmolpreet, Captain Markram, and also Brook. It sort of killed us at that point." Lara said while he had two top-notch spinners in his ranks, an extra spinner would have given the team an advantage.
"Well, we had Washi (Sundar) and Adil Rashid, two nice international spinners. Markram has bowled well in the recent past playing in SA20. It's a situation where you felt that an extra spinner would have done well.
"But you know, the fast bowlers they do have the ability to work the ball on pitches such as that, so we wanted to make sure that we had a well-balanced attack."
Inputs from PTI