We gave about 20 runs too many: Rahul Sharma

PWI bowler says batting needs to click

Pune 01 May 2013
Outplayed by Chennai Super Kings at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, the Pune Warriors India are now at the bottom of the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013’s points table. Although they claimed a couple of early wickets after MS Dhoni opted to bat, they could not contain the CSK line-up as Suresh Raina and S Badrinath milked the attack before MS Dhoni smashed the ball around the park in a late onslaught. While bowling in the death, which continues to be an area of concern, PWI top and middle order succumbed to the visitors. Chasing 165 they fell 37 runs short of the target on Tuesday evening. 

Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma who opened the bowling for the hosts and finished with one for 27 spoke to after the loss and reflected on the game.

Excerpts from the interview:

Would you say that batting is an area of concern?

We have been bowling well, in the last two–three overs, but in the death things are going a bit wrong since the last three-four games. And the batting is not clicking. The wicket was good for batting on Tuesday and we got a decent start but the loss of three-four quick wickets pulled us back.

Did the track change a bit as the game progressed? Was it a bit slow early on?

The wicket was good for batting If you spent some time on it .it was a good wicket to bat on.

What was going through your mind while opening the bowling open and bowling to likes of Michael Hussey?

I always want to give my team a breakthrough whenever I am bowling and that is what I was trying. My mindset is always good. And I enjoy bowling to a good batsman.

What was your plan for Michael Hussey who has been the mainstay of the CSK line-up?

He is in good form and I am also doing well for my team. So the challenge for both us was who will do better for their team. To bowl at the stumps and not give him room to play the cut was a plan because he plays the cut and the sweep shot very well so I had kept two fielders for him if tried to play the sweep shot. So the bowling was well over all.

What was the planning for the hard-hitting CSK batting line-up?

Since we have a good batting wicket the plan was not to give the batsmen too much room because they do have a lot of hard-hitters lower down like MS Dhoni, D Bravo, Albie Morkel. We wanted to restrict them to as less as possible like 140 or 150 but then according to me we gave about 20 runs more.

Would you say that shot selection and run-outs are an area that you need to work on?

In a way getting run out in T20 is a crime and we had a couple of run outs and that did make a difference in this match.

Have you worked on any new variations in your bowling?

I don’t try too many things in T20. My thing is not to give the batsman too much room and that has given me success so that’s what I try to do.

How difficult is it to regroup under these circumstances?

The boys are a good bunch and keep motivating themselves, all are strong. But then I think we are not clicking together. It is a new team and the captain is also new. He is captaining well, making good changes while bowling but the batting order is not getting set and the middle-order is collapsing.

How will the team prepare for against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, another team with a strong line-up?

Their main batter is Chris Gayle who can hit any shot at will regardless of how big the ground is so we are planning for him and I will try to get him out.
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