Coach McDonald on Key Areas RR Need to Work on, After Loss to RCB
Andrew McDonald said that they still are looking for their best playing XI and need a major improvement in fielding.
Rajasthan Royals coach Andrew McDonald said that their fielding hasn’t been up to the mark in all the four games they have played, and they have identified that as an evident cause of concern, after his side’s loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday, 3 October.
Apart from that, the focus area after their Saturday’s defeat, according to him was the first six overs of RR’s batting. “We felt clearly [the main reason], RCB took wickets in the powerplay and probably derailed us through the middle there, where we had to rebuild for a little bit longer than we would have liked.”
RR lost their top 3 of Jos Buttler, Steve Smith and Sanju Samson at the score of 31 in the fifth over of their innings after which Robin Uthappa and Mahipal Lomror had to rebuild on a sticky surface where the ball was holding up.
But, McDonald said that it was not a huge concern as they have got some world-class players at the top, who are match-winners and more often than not will perform for the team.
On consideration of splitting Jos Buttler and Steve Smith to have an experienced player in the middle-order, the 39-year old said that they would continue to discuss that. As, he felt that they still haven’t settled on their best playing XI and Ben Stokes’ arrival will change the formation of their team.
“That’s a reflection of last two games (where they have lost both Buttler and Smith early and middle-order is under pressure to do the bulk of scoring) but if you look at the first two games, that sort of partnership at the top and Sanju coming in at 3, best players getting the most amount of balls gives us the best opportunity.
Earlier in the first two games, RR after losing the first wicket early, lost their second wicket when the team scores were 132 and 100, respectively. Whereas in the last two games, they have lost their Top 3 when the team scores were 39 and 31, due to which the middle-order has to do the majority of the scoring.
When asked about the lack of form of their experienced players like Robin Uthappa and Jaydev Unadkat, McDonald said it’s too early to judge the form. “They haven’t had the best entry into the games or the opportunities that they have got but they are quality players,” he added.
“The fielding is probably something, in the first four games as a whole where we can improve definitely. We saw today that just when we start to get a little bit of pressure onto the opposition, it was released by some poor fielding.”Andrew McDonald, Coach, RR
Talking about a few positives from the game with Tewatia, Jofra Archer coming good with both bat and ball, McDonald commended Mahipal Lomror’s efforts. Playing his first game of this season of the IPL, Lomror came in at 31-3 and built the innings with Uthappa and ended up scoring a gritty knock of 47 off 39 balls. He added that they backed him in the middle-order against the RCB spinners and he played a fantastic knock.
The RR coach also applauded the partnership between Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli of 99 runs, which took the game away from RR in the second innings and didn’t let them come back into the match.
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