Hardik Pandya – The loss against Delhi Capitals keeps boiling me
Hardik Pandya took full responsibility for his team’s surprising five-run loss against the Delhi Capitals while the Titans’ chase, which was anchored by Hardik, was chasing an under-par total of 130 who was surprisingly calm in his half-century knock and was unable to put the finishing touches on as he had expected to.
Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya took full responsibility for his team’s surprising five-run loss against the Delhi Capitals on Tuesday (May 2) in Ahmedabad.
The Titans’ chase, which was anchored by Hardik, was chasing an under-par total of 130 who was surprisingly calm in his half-century knock and was unable to put the finishing touches on as he had expected to.
“I tried my best but could not capitalize. It boils down to me,”Hardik said at the post-match presentation.
“Obviously, we would have taken 129 [131-run target] on any given day. [We] just lost a couple of wickets and at the end; Rahul got us back in the game.”
Unlike their usual chasing trend, Gujarat’s innings was rocked early on, losing four wickets in the first seven overs, including the crucial ones of Shubman Gill and David Miller.
To handle the pressure, Hardik alongside young Abhinav Manohar made a partnership that was more on maintaining the innings than on scoring runs.
Except for the fact that he was able to hit a few maximums at the backend in that game—something he was unable to do this time—Hardik’s pacing of his innings was similar to the tempo he had during the afternoon game against Lucknow Super Giants.
The all-rounder failed to score in his final 13 balls of the game at a time when the asking rate had shot up drastically.
“We were hoping to get a couple of big overs in the middle but then we could not get a rhythm,”he said.
“It was new for Abhinav as well. It boils down to how I was not able to finish the game. Full marks to their bowlers as well and full ownership on my side where I could not finish the game I should’ve.”
Before this game, the matches in Ahmedabad produced reasonably high-scoring games that were also chased down successfully. Batters generally loved striking the ball and there were many boundaries hit in those games.
They were a stark contrast to this match, which featured just nine sixes across the two innings. But Hardik didn’t think the surface was particularly difficult to bat on.
“It was more about the pressure of [losing] wickets,”he said.
“I don’t think the [track] played many roles. It was a tad slower than what we are used to here. But they bowled well. We lost a couple of early wickets and then we had to take some time. We could not get the rhythm in the middle. Rahul brought us back into the game. Otherwise, they were quite ahead.”
Only one boundary (a six) had been hit since Miller left the field in the seventh over until the 14th over and it was during this phase that the DC bowlers tightened the screws.
Titans’ mantra while chasing has always been to take the game deep, relying on the power game of their finishers to win. It had been largely successful statistically, but it didn’t work in this contest.
“Intent had to be there. It’s just that we lost a couple of wickets where if you keep losing wickets, it’s difficult to keep the intent as well. We lost because I could not get my rhythm and we kept losing wickets at the start and that put us under pressure. We like to take it deep and hope to get a couple of big overs which we could not get.”
The Titans’ bowlers, inspired by Mohammed Shami’s flawless spell, had effectively set up the game for them. The senior pacer bowled an unchanged new-ball spell, picking up four wickets through accurate lines and precise seam movement.
Hardik was all praise for his pace spearhead and expressed sadness over his team’s inability to take advantage of the outstanding bowling performance.
“I feel sorry for [Shami],”Hardik said.
“If you bowl like that, then you restrict the team to 129 , I think [our] batters disappointed. I don’t think the ball did a lot. It’s just that Mohammed Shami’s skillset he has and he made the ball talk. Otherwise, I think for fast bowlers, the wicket did not have much assistance. But the way he bowled four on the trot and got us in the game, full credit [to him].
“As I said, batters and particularly myself did not finish and we disappointed him.”
The defeat was Gujarat’s first of the season in a run chase and only the second time overall from 14 games. The defending champions will play the Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Friday (May 5).