IPL 2024: Coach Sanga admits RR faltering a bit

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 08, 2024 IST

Kumar Sangakkara

New Delhi, May 8: This is not the first season, nor the first time in Indian Premier League (IPL) that first edition champions Rajasthan Royals (RR), despite good beginnings have never been consistent. 

They have lost their direction either in the mid-season, or towards he business ends of the tournament. This year too, after dominating the Points Table for nearly five weeks, RR have been looking in a bit of bother as they fumble at crucial times. They have lost two consecutive matches.

After RR were subjected to their second defeat on the trot in IPL 2024, director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara admitted that he thinks his team has been making a ‘few too many’ casual mistakes in their back-to-back losses in the competition.

Not so long ago, RR were at the top of the points table and looked all set to be the first team to enter IPL 2024 playoffs. But the inability to close out chases in their one-run defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad and now a 20-run loss to DC means RR have ended up on the losing side consecutively. Moreover, they missed the services of Dhruv Jurel and Shimron Hetmyer due to niggles in Delhi.

"Well, it's a tough one; losses happen. We've had a great run at the start of the season, a couple of hiccups here, but that's the way the tournament goes. You've got to be on top of your game.

"I think we're making a few too many casual mistakes. We've got to be patient with our plans, and really trust execution. If you're bowling, you've got to save the boundary here or there to try and drag a side back,” said Sangakkara in the post-match press conference.

Compared to fifties from Jake Fraser-McGurk, Abishek Porel and a stunning 41 from Tristan Stubbs to take DC to 221/8, RR didn’t have anyone barring Sanju Samson’s fine 46-ball 86 to step up with the bat in absence of Jurel and Hetmyer.

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler were out inside power-play, while Riyan Parag, Shubham Dubey, Rovman Powell and debutant Donovan Ferreira didn’t give the desired support to Samson. With Axar and Kuldeep operating in tandem, DC forced a slowdown by giving just 25 runs in overs 7-10.

"Didn't really start well in the power-play, but again, Sanju Samson, Riyan Parag, Shubham Dubey, all of them really contributing to what could have been an interesting chase. But once you make too many casual mistakes and play too many dot balls as well, it becomes a little hard," added Sangakkara.

With the ball, Ravichandran Ashwin, who came into the game with just two wickets in the season behind him, took 3-24 to cause a slowdown for DC. Between overs 14-17, RR gave away just 22 runs. But Stubbs’ takedown of Chahal via sweeps saw DC collect 21 runs off him in the 18th over, which paved the way for 14 and 18 runs coming in last two overs.

"I thought we bowled brilliantly through the middle of this game, Ashwin especially, and Yuzi (Chahal) showing again how good he is. But I think a few extra runs were given, thanks to some good batting at the end by Tristan Stubbs and Fraser-McGurk at the top. But even then with 220, that's about par for the course here.

"Yuzi bowled really well to Rishabh and the two lefties, and Ash bowled where we wanted him to bowl. Probably at the back end, we took the spin a little too deep on this pitch and that's something we can we can try and address. But Ash bowled extremely well," stated Sangakkara.

With Buttler all set to leave the team at the end of league stage due to England’s T20I series against Pakistan, Sangakkara said the opener will let him know by when he can be with the side in the tournament.

"Well, we've got to live with it as it is. Everyone's ready to play, and are training well. We've been getting everyone ready and thinking of that contingency as well. If it happens, it happens. Otherwise, someone else will have to step up. All the England players have a deadline, and we'll be talking about it. So he'll let us know when the deadline is there."

RR now have a four-day break before travelling to Chennai to face defending champions Chennai Super Kings on April 12. Sangakkara signed off by insisting it wasn’t time for panic stations to be activated in the team after back-to-back defeats.

"We know we've got the quality in the side, and we've just got to keep training hard, getting ready, and at the end of the day, it's about execution. If you get it right on the day and you execute better than the other side, you walk away with a win. We just have to be a little bit more disciplined," he said.

Can the Royals regroup and win at least a couple of matches? If they fail to win a single game of the remaining three matches in the league stages, they may even struggle to enter the play-offs.

If that turns out to be true, then 2024 would be yet another season, where despite superb beginnings, Rajasthan Royals would lose their focus and way just before the final stages of the IPL tournament. (With IANS support)

    Tags
  • Sanju Samson
  • Yashasvi Jaiswal
  • Indian Premier League (IPL)
  • Rajasthan Royals (RR)
  • Delhi Capitals
  • IPL 2024
  • Kumar Sangakkara

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