Cricket

Indian Premier League 2020 | We did not adapt as the pitches got slower: Hesson

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)’s Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson stated that an inability to adapt to the slow pitches in the latter half of the IPL affected the team's progress. After a bright start, RCB lost the last five league matches, before going down to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Eliminator on Friday.

Hesson added that there was no need to overhaul the RCB squad for the next season, and that a few tweaks would suffice.

“The strike rate of our middle-order in the first eight games was the second best in the competition.

“The problem manifested in the last five games. We did not adapt as the pitches got slower. We need more experience and adaptability in those conditions,” Hesson said in a media interaction on Saturday.

Can’t expose bowling

“We’ve already had discussions (on plans for the next auction). Our core group is very good, but we need a little bit of tweaking. The middle-order cannot be filled with overseas players. We also can’t stack one part of our game which we’ve done in the past — and leave our bowling exposed,” Hesson said.

Hesson stated that the team was pleased to have a strong Indian group of players, consisting of Devdutt Padikkal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini and others.

Hesson defended Virat Kohli’s captaincy and unusually sedate tournament strike-rate of 121.35. “On most occasions, “Kohli came in to bat after the PowerPlay. This is not an easy time to start batting, particularly in slow conditions at UAE.

“But we saw his class in that 52-ball 90 against Chennai Super Kings. Certain game situations did not help him either.

“There were times when we would lose wickets when he was on top of the bowling, which would slow his progress,” Hesson said.

Time with youngsters

“From a leadership point of view, Kohli is highly professional and respected by the group here.

“Both Kohli and his wife Anushka (Sharma) spent a lot of time socialising with our group. Kohli spent a lot of time around younger players, especially with Padikkal as a mentor. Spending time with Kohli was invaluable for Padikkal’s growth,” Hesson said.

Batsmen looked nervous

Kohli, speaking to the broadcaster after the loss to SRH, said that the batsmen needed to be “more expressive” and that they seemed nervous and hesitant.

“We allowed bowlers to bowl in the areas they wanted to and didn't put enough pressure.

“In the last three-four games we have hit it straight to the fielders... lot of good shots going to the fielders. It has been a strange kind of phase in the last 4-5 games,” Kohli said.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 6:58:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/we-did-not-adapt-as-the-pitches-got-slower-hesson/article33049258.ece

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