Rajasthan Royals (RR) head coach Kumar Sangakkara has said that while the nature of the Sharjah pitch may have had an effect in their heavy defeat to Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday, the fault lies more in their inability to adapt than on anything else.
Sangakkara was of the opinion that both bowlers and batsmen could have done better as RR’s chances to make the play-offs took a major blow on Tuesday. The 2008 champions were restricted to 90/0 and MI chased down the target in just over eight overs.
“You could probably say that,” Sangakkara told the media when asked about the toss affecting the result.
“We haven’t played here at Sharjah before, and watching the other games, it seems to be slightly better in the night. And today there was probably a little bit more pace. But once we had only 90 on the board, it was really tough unless you had this amazing powerplay with wickets and very few runs,” he said.
“The crucial part for us was we were 42  for 1 after the powerplay, and the plan was then to extend it beyond the 13th-14th over with at least seven wickets in hand. So that we could really target a bowler or two and build that platform in the 15th over. Unfortunately we didn’t adapt, Mumbai bowled very well, and we lost too many wickets and we could never attack at any stage. So probably the fault lies more with us than the pitch or the toss,” said Sangakkara.
The former Sri Lanka captain said that pitches like the ones that have been on offer in Sharjah is good for testing a team’s strategy and skills with regards to making a score, even if it may not providing high scoring T20 matches.
“These types of pitches are challenging and it’s about adapting your game and being smart on it. We’ve spoken about the Sharjah wickets in the lead-up to this game, what the bowlers have to do, what the batters have to do,” he said.
“That the first six overs will be easy and then it’s the case of building a platform… getting to about 15 overs with wickets in hand so we can capitalise at the back-end. For the bowlers, it’s about hitting that back of a length, hitting your cross-seams, fast cutters into the pitch.
“But you know on pitches like this, it tests not just your skill but also your flexibility and your mindset. So at times playing on pitches like this is not a bad idea. It’s not the greatest T20 pitch in terms of runs, but it is a challenging pitch in terms of coming to terms with it and then playing on it. It’s an experience, so we’ll have to wait and see how they’ll turn up for the (T20) World Cup (which follows the IPL in the UAE and Oman),” said Sangakkara.
This content was originally published here.