Our Top 4 Batters’ Inconsistency Hurt Us: RR Skipper Steve Smith
Smith praised Archer and Tewatia for their consistent performances and rued that they didn’t get enough support.
Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith said that their top 4 batters’ inconsistency in the middle of the tournament proved costly for their campaign, after his side’s 60-run loss against Kolkata Knight Riders resulted in their ouster from the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday.
Talking about what went wrong for the RR side this year, Smith said, “Obviously we started really well, we won our first two games, won our last two games before this one. In the middle, we were probably a little bit inconsistent. Our batters, our top 4-5, probably didn’t take enough responsibility throughout the whole tournament. You need your top 4 batters scoring consistently if you gonna go to the end of the tournament. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that this year.”
Looking back at their this year’s campaign, Smith said that close wins make the tournament for sides in the IPL but they should have also won the games in which they were in control of.
After winning their first two games in Sharjah, the Royals had frequent top-order collapses where, in the next three games, they lost three wickets inside the powerplay. Even though Ben Stokes’ arrival helped their balance, but when their batting started clicking the bowlers didn’t help and apart from Jofra Archer, possibly every other bowler went for runs.
However, the men in pink made a comeback with two huge run-chases in the previous two games against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab. On Sunday too, Smith backed his side’s strength of chasing a score and chose to bowl first after winning the toss. But 192 proved too much for RR, as they lost the game by 60 runs after being on 37/5 in the first six overs itself.
Asked if 192 was too much or they felt comfortable considering their last two games and the dew, Smith said, “I thought it was probably around 180 (par score) on that wicket, there was a little bit of dew. But losing 4 wickets in the powerplay, it’s always gonna be tough from there. No one really got going. Unfortunate way to finish for us.”
With only six wins in their 14 games, RR finished with the wooden spoon on the points table owing to a poorer net run rate than that of Chennai Super Kings.
Jofra Archer and Rahul Tewatia – Two Bright Stars for RR
With 255 runs and 10 wickets, Rahul Tewatia was one of the stories of this IPL as he single-handedly pulled two games in favour of his side. With his leg-spin, he bowled economically and in good areas and consistently troubled the batsmen with his accuracy.
The other star for the Royals was the fast bowler Jofra Archer, who tops the Most Valuable Player (MVP) List currently, as he was the only consistent bowler for his side. His pace, lengths and wicket-taking ability came in handy for RR as he took 20 wickets in the season at an economy of 6.55. He also scored some vital quick runs bringing his six-hitting ability to the fore.
Lastly, Smith thanked the BCCI and all the other organisations involved for conducting an IPL tournament in the middle of a pandemic and hoped that they could bring few smiles in India where things are tough.
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