Rahul wants more from LSG’s top order as they falter in fourth straight chase

Rahul wants more from LSG's top order as they falter in fourth straight chase
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The last time Lucknow Super Giants won a game chasing was over a month ago, the April 7 despite being only the second week of the IPL 2022. Now with barely a week left for the championship phase of the tournament where teams are expected to fine tune their plans for the playoffs, a glaring weakness appeared for the Super Giants: they can’t have their pursuits.

Even if the super giants were chase 179 Sunday, which might have looked below par due to how the Rajasthan Royals looked ready for 200 at one point, KL Rahul The team stumbled to 34 for 3 on the power play and left too much to do for the middle order who had neither the experience like their top order nor the striking abilities of their bottom order.

Rahul admitted after their loss that they needed to get “smarter” at bat and “need to work hard” on their game as it was the fourth time in a row they had fallen in a chase.

“It was an accessible target. It was a good pitch, there was a bit in it with the new ball. We were supporting each other to hit that target, but we couldn’t execute our plans and again the batting group … we haven’t been able to play collectively as a unit in a few games,” Rahul told the host broadcaster during the presentation. “We have to go back and work on our game, work to be smarter when we are in the middle and try to get a win for the team.

“Pune was a lot tougher, there was a lot more on the pitch there. It (Brabourne stadium) was a really good pitch, there was a sewing movement at the start, quality bowlers like Trent [Boult] and Prasidh [Krishna] hit hard lengths, managed to move him around a bit. They played in good areas and when you lose two wickets in an over that puts pressure on you and it’s happened a few times with us where we’ve lost the game on the power play, as a batter we’ve lost three- four wickets from which it is obviously very difficult to come back. We have to work hard on our game and make sure that when the ball is moving and there are quality bowlers, you find a way to stay in the game and give your team a good start so that at the end of the account, we could always get short.”

The super giants are now second on the list to lose the most power play wickets in this IPL, only behind Kolkata Knight Riders. Boult and Prasidh rocked the Super Giants early on Sunday with back-to-back wickets from Quinton de Kock and Ayush Badoni in the third, followed by Rahul leaving for a laborious 10 of 19 in the sixth.

“If we can keep our composure in the middle while we bat and give ourselves a chance to play the new ball or play a good spell even when there are only 120 balls,” Rahul added. “If you can get through that spell, you still have enough time to catch up and win the game from there. We have power in our hitter; people are hitting the ball really far, and they can hit six and get a big plus, so it’s just about being smart and playing the right spells.”

One way for the Super Giants to succeed on Sunday would have been to take the game deep because the Royals had trouble with their death bowling and still have the worst economic rate in this phase. Maybe the Super Giants think tank picked up Marcus Stoinis and Jason Holder for this phase, but their decision to promote Badoni to No. 3 backfired as he fell in love with a duck in gold.

Their bowling coach Andy Bichel told host broadcaster Star Sports at the start of the chase that Badoni was promoted because he hit well in some of their practice matches, and Rahul revealed after the match that they could beat Stoinis in order in the upcoming matches. .

“He (Badoni) hit well,” Rahul said at the press conference. “In the last four or five games we felt like we could have used him slightly differently, so we tried to play him at the top of the list.”

On Stoinis’ batting position, Rahul said: “What we try to do is use players who will best suit the situation and for us Marcus is one of those players who has the brute force, and we know he can be really dangerous at the back, so we tried to hold him back a bit. We kept a little flexibility with the hitting roles, and that’s the role for which we chose him, the finisher for us and even today he hit very well.

“We have to go back and work on our game, work to be smarter when we’re in the middle and try to get a win for the team.”

KL Rahul

“He shows that he can really win us games on his own, but you need someone to support him on the other end and he needs, and the team needs the higher order to put set up the game for someone like Stoinis and Jason to come in. and complete matches that didn’t happen, unfortunately. That said, we might even see Stoinis beat the order in the next match or future matches where we’re giving him more overs to play and giving him a chance to go out there and be the dangerous Stoinis that he is.”

ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time Out pundits Daniel Vettori and Piyush Chawla also said the Super Giants needed to beat Stoinis and Holder higher ahead of Krunal Pandya, who struck at No. 5 on Sunday.

“Honestly, they’re heavily reliant on their front three,” Chawla said. “In the middle order you just have Marcus Stoinis, who comes in quite late, and if you see the other hitters they don’t have a lot of experience. The whole middle order was exposed for Lucknow in a few games in particular.”

“We’ve had many times that quality, proven, usually international batsmen have been left at numbers 5, 6 and 7 or left too late and then unproven domestic batsmen or even unproven international batsmen beat ahead of them. “, Vettori said, “and it seems counter-intuitive to have this kind of setup because Stoinis hit many times in order and Krunal Pandya didn’t; he mostly hit at No. 6 or 7. Looks like they’ve mixed up their roles, and Jason Holder, who is one of the best mid-order batsmen, has the potential to come up.”

Vettori further said there was no need for the Super Giants to experiment with Badoni at No. 3 as Deepak Hooda excelled there earlier. “You want your top drummers to take it because Hooda has hit three times a lot of times now, and he’s been like KL Rahul in a lot of ways. I don’t believe there’s a need to protect your top drummers. “

Vishal Dikshit is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

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