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IPL 2018: Ajinkya Rahane says lack of partnerships cost Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

Ajinkya Rahane says Rajasthan Royals started their IPL 2018 game vs Sunrisers Hyderabad well but a lack of partnerships and loss of crucial wickets at regular intervals meant they didn’t put as many runs on the board as they should have.

cricket Updated: Apr 10, 2018 09:08 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
IPL 2018,Ajinkya Rahane,Rajasthan Royals
Ajinkya Rahane says Rajasthan Royals started their IPL 2018 game vs Sunrisers Hyderabad well but a lack of partnerships and loss of crucial wickets at regular intervals cost them. (IPL/ SPORTZPICS)

If Chennai Super Kings had scripted the perfect comeback to the IPL fold against Mumbai Indians in the season-opener, Rajasthan Royals on Monday dished out the most unromantic tale. (SRH v RR match report) (Highlights) (Full scorecard)

A hapless batting display followed by a lacklustre effort in the field coupled with some erroneous bowling saw them start their campaign this season with a nine wicket-loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The narrative could have been different. With 48 runs on the board for the loss of one wicket at the end of the powerplay overs, the ploy should have been to push the throttle.

Instead the brakes were applied by the home team, and how. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Ben Stokes were removed in the space of 14 deliveries and momentum changed hands in no time.

“I think first of all, we thought on this wicket, 150-160 would’ve been an ideal total because the ball was doing a bit and the medium pacers had good help on this wicket,” Rahane said at the post-match press conference. “But we didn’t get that one partnership. We lost crucial wickets in between.”

READ | Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson praises team after win vs Rajasthan Royals

The second wicket did stand for 46 runs while the fourth-wicket stand stitched together 29 off just 13 deliveries. Both the partnerships could have shaped the innings well but failed miserably.

“Getting a good start in the first six overs, that was the key, and we got that,” Rahane added. “Six overs and we were close to 50 with one wicket down. But as I mentioned, we lost crucial wickets in the middle overs.

“I always believed that it was a wicket where one big partnership or (if) one set batsman can bat through the innings that really would’ve helped.”

With Steve Smith ruled out of the ongoing edition of the IPL, the Royals went in with D’Arcy Short, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Ben Laughlin as their four overseas players in the starting XI.

READ | Indian cricket team will be favourites when they tour Australia: Simon Katich

Unfortunately, none of them fired. While the batting trio put up a combined score of 15, Laughlin went for 20 in his two overs without picking up a wicket.

However, Rahane backed the overseas players to find a rhythm as the tournament progressed. “D’Arcy Short did really well in the Big Bash, even for Australia recently, Jos Butler and Stokes we all know how dangerous they are, Ben Laughlin is an experienced bowler in T20 cricket and did well in the Big Bash in Australia,” he said.

“Klaasen is also there... He didn’t get a game but he did well against us in South Africa in T20 cricket. Definitely Steve Smith is a quality player, but we are not thinking about him right now.”

First Published: Apr 10, 2018 09:06 IST