IPL 2021: “It was essential that we adapted to what the Mumbai bowlers did” – RR chief Kumar Sangakkara

Rajasthan Royals (RR) director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara has admitted that his bowlers failed to take a leaf out of their counterparts’ book while defending 90 runs against the Mumbai Indians (MI). RR suffered their fourth loss in five games and are all but out of the competition.

The defending champions romped to an eight-wicket win, with 70 balls to spare, to stay alive in the race for the fourth playoffs spot. Asked what he told the team before the second innings, Kumar Sangakkara revealed he asked the RR bowlers to walk in the footsteps of their MI counterparts, which, unfortunately, didn’t translate into action.

“It is just a case of learning from what the Mumbai bowlers did and the plans that we’ve set before the game – in terms of the lengths to bowl, the change-ups, why cross-seam and fast cutters on this pitch is really important.

“If you bowl that kind of really good length – be it a slower ball or a seam-up – it becomes much easier to hit. So if we are defending a low total, it was essential that we kind of adapted to that. Unfortunately we didn’t,” Sangakkara said in response to Sportskeeda’s question at the post-match press conference.

RR remain second-last in the points table with just five wins from 13 games, while Rohit Sharma’s boys climb up to fifth with 12 points. Both teams are left with one game each to play.


“The fault lies more with us than just the pitch or the toss” – Sangakkara

RR pacer Chetan Sakariya celebrates after dismissing MI captain Rohit Sharma [Credits: IPL]
RR pacer Chetan Sakariya celebrates after dismissing MI captain Rohit Sharma [Credits: IPL]

In the UAE leg this season, RR have lost four of the six matches played – their two wins came against Punjab and Chennai. However, tonight was their first tryst with the slow and low wicket at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Kumar Sangakkara conceded that they failed to adapt to the relatively new conditions, while adding that being put into bat first further worsened their cause. The Sri Lankan legend further reiterated that the RR batters spurning a good start and losing eight wickets for 41 runs weren’t ideal ideal either.

“Yeah, you could probably say that [losing the toss was decisive]. We haven’t played here at Sharjah before, and watching the other games it seems to be slightly better in the night, and today there was probably a little bit more pace. But once you have only 90 on the wicket, it was really tough, unless you have this amazing powerplay with wickets and very few runs.

“The crucial part for us was, 42 for 1 after the powerplay and the plan was then to extend it, be in the 13/14th over with at least 7 wickets in hand, so that we could target a bowler or two and build a platform beyond the 15th over. Unfortunately we didn’t adapt, Mumbai bowled very well, and we lost too many wickets, so we couldn’t attack at any stage. So probably the fault lies more with us than just the pitch or the toss,” the RR chief elaborated.

RR will play their last league game against fourth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the same venue on Thursday. MI are scheduled to play on the final day, against the low-lying SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Abu Dhabi.


Edited by Sai Krishna
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