Gujarat Titans (GT) skipper Hardik Pandya on Tuesday (3rd May) talked about the loss his side suffered against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Match 48 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. He said that 170 would’ve been an ideal score for them and he also backed his decision to bat first.
After winning five games on the trot, GT tasted the defeat at the hands of PBKS. They suffered a thumping 8-wicket loss to register their second defeat of the season. Pandya’s decision to bat first didn’t do any good to his side as they struggled to time the ball and kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Sai Sudarsan was the lone warrior for his side and scored unbeaten 65 runs to take his side to the fighting total of 145 runs. On the other hand, Kagiso Rabada shined with the ball for PBKS and returned with the figures of 4/33.
Chasing the target, PBKS came out with a new opening combination in Shikhar Dhawan (62*) and Jonny Bairstow. The move failed as the English batter was back in the hut for just 1 run.
The senior Indian opener along with Bhanuka Rajapaksa (40) added 87 runs for the second wicket, before Liam Livingston blasted an unbeaten 10-ball 30 to win the match for his side with 4 overs to spare.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Hardik Pandya admitted that they were not even close to par and should’ve scored around 170 runs.
He also backed his decision to bat first, saying that he wanted to test themselves in difficult situations. He remarked that they’ve been chasing well but they want them to put themselves under pressure to make themselves prepare for the big games.
“Obviously, we were not even close to par. 170 would have been an ideal score but we kept losing wickets and did not get any rhythm. I back my decision to bat first because we need to put ourselves in difficult situations where we come out of our comfort zone.
“We’ve been doing well chasing but we wanted to make sure that we put our batters under pressure so that when the right game comes and we have to bat first, we should know how we have to go. It was an exercise which we wanted to try,” Hardik Pandya said.
Hardik admitted that they kept losing wickets and came under pressure. He said that it’ll be a learning curve for them as they wanted to come out of their comfort zone.
“We knew the new ball might do something, but we kept losing wickets. If you keep losing wickets no matter the conditions, your batting is always going to be under pressure. We didn’t get the start we wanted but I’ll take the loss as a learning curve and as I said we need to come out of our comfort zone, try to bat first and put up some totals as well,” he said.
Hardik said that they always want to get better and even when they were winning, they talked about the same. Adding that they need to regroup and come out better in the next game.
“Even when we were winning, we were always talking about getting better. We’ll have a chat about where things did not go our way and focus on the things we need to get better for our next game. We don’t have much time. We need to regroup. Losing is a part of the sport and more often than not we’ve been on the winning side,” he said.
GT will next face Mumbai Indians (MI) on Friday (6th May) at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
(India Today inputs)