Gujarat Lions head coach Brad Hodge has admitted time is running out for his team to make it to the playoffs after yet another loss against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday (April 23).
After managing just a solitary win in their first five matches, the Lions looked to have found their rhythm that made them finish the last season as the table-topper when they thrashed Kolkata Knight Riders by 4 wickets at the Eden Gardens. However, the performance against Kings XI Punjab has shown that Suresh Raina’s men need to improve by leaps and bounds if they are aspiring to make it to a later stage of the tournament.
The Gujarat Lions bowlers once again failed with the ball, conceding 188 runs in their 20 overs. In reply, they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and never looked in contention to chase down the total. They were finally restricted 162 for 7 in their 20 overs as they suffered their fifth loss in seven matches.
Expressing his disappointment over the loss, Hodge said his team failed in every department before insisting that his team has the ability to turn the season around.
“Today was an extremely difficult loss for sure, especially after such a spirited win in Kolkata. There could be many excuses — a day’s rest to playing a 4 pm game today. It’s tough. We can come up with excuses but we just weren’t good enough,” said a disappointed Hodge after the match.
“Unfortunately, we let ourselves down in all three areas, batting, bowling and fielding. This one’s a tough one because we are running out of time (to make the playoffs). We are definitely playing catch-up but I do know that if these guys do fire, we can certainly put it together like we did last year,” added the former Australia batsman.
Hodge further said that the failure to click as a whole unit is a big reason behind the team’s dismal performance so far.
“We just haven’t clicked. If we bat well at the start, our middle struggles. If we struggle at the top, our middle fires. We’ve got some serious firepower and some serious match-winners but we just haven’t had enough match-winners on the day. We are still searching for that for sure. We’re still searching for the perfect recipe,” he said.
“We’re trying our best to make sure the combinations are right. We’ll keep searching. We want to make sure we give all players confidence that when they’re out there, they can do the job. That’s one thing we’re trying to do. But there are a few areas where we need to improve. Lack of wicket-taking and spin deficiency is hurting us a little bit, which is costing us to chase a few more extra runs that we would have liked. We need to trust ourselves and skills,” he concluded.
Gujarat Lions’ next match is against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 27.