Rajasthan Royals’ failure to adjust to the slowness of the Dubai pitch after a couple of victories in Sharjah contributed to Royals’ 37-run defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday, believes batsman Robin Uthappa.
Defending 175, Kolkata Knight Riders’ fast bowlers reduced the side to 88 for 8 inside 15 overs before Tom Curran’s 54 not out reduced its margin of defeat.
“Towards the end, the wicket was getting a little tired (slow), so stopping a little bit. So yeah, in hindsight, we definitely felt maybe we would have taken a little bit more time to get adjusted and then taken the attack to the bowlers,” Uthappa said at the virtual post-match press conference.
Jos Buttler started off in a hurry as Sunil Narine conceded 12 runs in his first over.
In the next over, captain Steve Smith tried to slog every ball against his Australian team-mate Pat Cummins and even survived a dropped catch before being dismissed for 3. Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy then claimed two wickets each to derail Royals’ chase.
“We actually play a certain brand of cricket. Today, we continued to play that as a batting line-up,” Uthappa said.
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The Royals’ meek surrender came on the back of their highest tournament chase of 224 runs against Kings XI Punjab. “We chased a big score in the last game. Obviously, there’s a lot of confidence coming in from that game. Also we felt that the wicket will play well. Maybe we could have taken a little bit more time to adjust to the pace of the wicket and then taking the attack to the bowlers,” he said.
Uthappa said the wicket had slowed down because the same strip a couple of days ago hosted the contest between Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians. “It was a used wicket – the game that RCB played against Mumbai Indians, I think it’s the same wicket that we played on, so stopping a bit.”
“I think it’s a good learning experience. So moving forward, I think this learning will hold us in good stead. Our performance will only climb from here on him,” he said.
Rajasthan Royals will next face Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.