We made a few tactical errors: Mahela

DD vice captain says his team needs to fine-tune certain areas before next game

Pune 23 May 2012
Chasing a challenging total against the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Delhi Daredevils lost early wickets, including that of Mahela Jayawardene. After losing this qualifier, the table-toppers will now get another chance to qualify for the finals when they play the winner of the eliminator between the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings.

While speaking to 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].
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