Steve Smith placed the blame squarely on the top-order after Rajasthan Royals crashed out of IPL 2020 after suffering a massive 60-run loss against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Kolkata posted a mammoth 191/7 in a must-win tie and in reply, Rajasthan lost its top-order cheaply and eventually ended on 131/9.
“I thought it was around a 180 wicket. There was a bit of dew. Losing four in the Powerplay, it was always going to be tough from there. Cummins bowled nice lengths, made us play some good shots. We got off to a flier, but then we lost wickets in a clump. Unfortunate way to end,” Smith said.
“We started off really well, won the last two before this one. In the middle we lost our way. Our batters, the top four or five didn’t take responsibility perhaps. A couple of real positives. Jofra has been exceptional pretty much every game. Tewatia obviously has pulled a few out of the hat throughout the tournament. He has bowled exceptionally well throughout the tournament. Not enough support for them,” he added.
Winning skipper Eoin Morgan said that his team was keeping an eye on the net run-rate and the early wickets by Pat Cummins set the tone for the win.
“Pat set the tone early on. Winning the game was about taking wickets, especially early. RR are a side that are top-heavy and you need to get them early. Having that aggressive mindset was important for us. Yes, I was aware of the numbers (about net run rate) but you need to first get yourself into a winning position. I don’t think we could have done anything more today. So whatever happens from here is upto the Gods,” Morgan said.
Cummins, who was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match for picking a four-wicket haul said he was happy with his performance.
“A lot goes through your mind. First few balls weren’t great. As long as you go back to bowling your best balls, it’s alright. Top of off is always that area for me, there was a bit early in there with the new ball. So, I was trying to get as many in there as I can. Not really, don’t think I expected to get all wickets like that,” Cummins said.
“Some days you bowl well and don’t get luck, some days you get a bit of luck as well. Today, everything fell into place. I guess early on in the season, I put a lot of pressure on myself. As the tournament has gone on, I’ve got better and better. You’re always learning,” he added.
Andre Russell, who missed games due to injury returned to the side and confirmed that it was a Grade II hamstring tear.
“It’s a good feeling to be back on the field. It’s been a tough two weeks doing rehab three times a day, was a bit painful. But, I’m happy that I’m back. It’s a grade two hamstring tear which usually takes eight weeks to heal. The scan was very ugly. With KKR physio and doctors around me, it helped,” Russell said.
“I was bowling a few walk upon balls before the game tonight, and it felt good. When it (hamstring) is feeling good, that’s when it’s healing, and I don’t want to disturb the healing process. We have a good bowling (attack), so I can chip in with the yorkers at the backend, but for now I’m going to take one game at a time,” he added.