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While speaking to iplt20.com Jayawardene reflected on the tactical errors that contributed to the loss against KKR.
Excerpts from his post-match interview:
Do you think Yusuf Pathan’s 40* later in the innings cost DD the match?
Not just that, I think there were quite a few other things as well [that cost us the match]. I don’t think we played a perfect game today. We made a few too many mistakes. When you are playing a T20 game against a quality opposition, it is tough to come back into the game. But yes, that partnership [between Yusuf Pathan and LR Shukla] probably took maybe 15-20 runs away from us at the end and 160 [odd] was always going to be a challenging score to chase. We were close, but not good enough. What are the areas that you will look to improve upon?
We have had a very good season and we kept improving. Yes, we had a bad day to day but that doesn’t mean we play bad cricket. We kept playing good cricket, so we just need to fine-tune certain areas, which we think we have to […]. That’s what we have been doing throughout the season and would continue to do that. What was the reason for playing only one spinner on a track that probably suited spin bowling more?
Yes [we played only one spinner]. But we controlled things much better in the [first] 15 overs, which we bowled. That has been our strength. The wicket wasn’t too slow [or] too spinner friendly. Yes, it was [helping spin] a little bit, but when we were chasing, we saw it wasn’t too bad [to play on or] too hard to play the spinners. We lost a couple of wickets up front but still we were in the game till the 15th over. I thought and that’s where probably the game shifted at the end. So, anything could have happened, but we stuck to our strength rather than doing too many changes. What was the strategy behind changing the batting order and promoting Pawan Negi above Ross Taylor?
We were thinking [of playing] the left-handers we had with the left-arm spinners they had and try and use that. But probably it was bit too late [in the innings to do that]. Probably, we should have sent the left-hander much earlier than [we did]. Maybe [we should’ve sent him] in place of Venu [Venugopal Rao] so that Ross also could have had a bit more overs to bat. But like I said, on the field, we made a few mistakes, probably tactically we made a few mistakes as well, but we will learn from that. What would be the strategy for the next match, which will be against either CSK or MI – both of whom can’t be taken lightly?
Yes, true. Let them play tomorrow, see who we have to play next and then try and sit down and have a good solid game plan against them. [...] We can’t make any plans now, but it’s probably a good thing that we finished in the top two, so we get another crack at it [reaching the final].
After they lost the first playoffs to the Kolkata Knight Riders’, Negi spoke to iplt20.com about his role with the bat and the ball in the match.
Excerpts from the brief interview:
On the turning point of the match
The turning point of the match, because of which we lost the game was when Mahela Jayawardene and Naman Ojha they got out. After that our run rate came down, and towards the end, we lost wickets in quick succession. The turning point was when Mahela Jayawardene got out.
On Yusuf Pathan’s late onslaught
Yes his late onslaught turned out to be expensive for us. In the last last five overs we gave away too many. [...] On what would have been a chaseable target here
140 was a good total to chase. But we could have chased 163 also. We were playing well until we lost a couple of wickets in between [and the flow of runs] stopped otherwise we could have chased down the target.
On whether the wicket was aiding spin
Yes. The ball was turning on this wicket, so it was effective for the spinners.
On whether there was pressure on him to perform since he was chosen over Shabaz Nadeem and Van der Merwe to play the match
There was no pressure. I was told in advance that I will be playing so I was mentally prepared to play and perform.
On whether there was any particular reason for playing with only one spinner while the opposition played with three on a spinner-friendly track
No, there was no particular reason. We had good combination, so we were looking to carry it forward. On being promoted above Ross Taylor and Irfan Pathan in the batting
I was supposed to go up and try and hit [a few runs] and if I could connect [and score runs] then it would have made a difference to the [required] run rate. I was sent up so that I could hit a few runs and bring the required run rate down.
On whether he felt the pressure to perform on being sent up in the batting order
Yes there was a little pressure to score runs. On whether they felt that they had chance when Ross Taylor was still in the middle
Till Ross Taylor was there we had hope to score the runs because he is a good hitter of the ball and capable of changing the game [in team’s favour].