Rajasthan Royals suffered their first defeat in the 2020 IPL yesterday to KKR, which was mostly down to their batsmen playing mindless shots. Robin Uthappa, one of their middle-order batsmen, played down the claims of ground dimensions as the reason behind their loss and commented that the 22-yard strip ‘changed a bit’ during the second innings. The Royals had played their first two matches at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, a smaller ground compared to the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, and presented some phenomenal batting performances.
“We have played practice matches on bigger grounds as well,” said Uthappa in a press conference after yesterday’s match against KKR. “So, it’s just a matter of adjusting to the pace of the wicket. As we play more games here, we’ll get better at it. Today, we’ve got a good sense of how this wicket’s gonna play. It’s pretty similar to our practice wickets. We are looking forward to the next games as well. Our performance will only climb from hereon.
“In hindsight, we could have taken a little more time. We got the sense that the wicket changed a little bit. Post the first innings, I thought that the wicket began stopping a little bit. Obviously, it was a used wicket. I think towards the end, the wicket started getting a little tired. In hindsight, we felt, we could have taken a little bit of time to get adjusted. And then take the attack to the bowlers.”
For the second time in two matches, RR decided to chase despite the fact that all matches in Dubai this season so far have been won by teams batting first. When asked about this decision, Uthappa replied, “We chased a big score in the last game. Obviously, there is a lot of confidence coming in from that. We felt that the wicket would play well.”
Rajasthan Royals, chasing 175, lost most of their wickets playing risky shots. However, Uthappa wasn’t critical of his team’s batting performance. “We play a certain brand of cricket and today we continued to play that as a batting line-up. Obviously, there have been learnings from this game and those learnings will be taken into our stride and applied in the games to come.”