After an impressive run of three undefeated games, the Gujarat Lions were thrashed mercilessly by the Sunrisers Hyderabad at Rajkot. After being put into bat, the Lions never got off to a solid start. However, skipper Suresh Raina tried his absolute best as he was the spine of the Gujarat batting.
Towards the death overs, the hosts lost momentum and some accuracy from the Sunrisers bowlers meant that the Lions were restricted to a below par total. However, a fact worth noticing was the absence of all-rounder James Faulkner from the Gujarat setup for the game. Faulkner was benched in favor of the underperforming Dale Steyn, who endured another horrible outing.
Post Gujarat’s loss, spinner Pravin Tambe admitted that Faulkner’s presence lower down the order could have made a difference. “We were 20 runs short on this wicket. They didn’t have to chase too big a total. They batted sensibly. If you see, they didn’t hit any sixes. The wicket was not that bad. I don’t think so it was two-paced. It was a little bit slower,” said Tambe.
“It is a big ground as compared to the other grounds that we are playing in. With a wicket that is stopping a bit, we knew that hitting the big shots would be difficult.” “We didn’t have the firepower. Faulkner wasn’t playing in the end so Raina had to stay till the end, till 20th over,” said Tambe.
The 44-year-old spinner, though, was confident that the Lions would be back to their best soon, and the loss wouldn’t deter them too much. “All the players in the team are match-winners. It happens. It was a bad day for us, for the batting unit. It happens sometimes. We have seven good batsmen. But there are days when nobody clicks. So it was a bad day for us,” said Tambe.