Plan is to not only hit boundaries and sixes, but choose smart shots: KL Rahul


PTI, Apr 5, 2022, 8:03 AM IST

Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul wants his batters to put pressure on the opposition by playing aggressive but risk-free cricket, look for the fours and sixes, but ”choose smart shots”.

Rahul’s team’s earned its second successive win in the IPL-15 here on Monday, beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by 12 runs. Having scored 169 for seven after a disastrous start, LSG stopped SRH at 157 for nine. Winning games likes these will give a lot of confidence to LSG, and Rahul touched upon that at the post-match presentation.

”What’s pleasing is that we’ve found a way to stay in the game and give ourselves a good chance of winning. We did that again today,” Rahul said. While pacer Avesh Khan (4/24) shone bright with the ball, Rahul and Deepak Hooda did the bulk of scoring for LSG.

”Not ideal to lose three wickets early, but we need to give ourselves a little time since we bat deep and we have power at the death. That’s something we need to learn as a batting group – how to play risk-free cricket while looking for fours. ”But with the ball we’ve been brilliant in all three games. We don’t chat so much in the middle. As opening batsmen, you give yourselves a couple of balls and if the wicket is good then both openers have to go.” Rahul said the addition of all-rounder Jason Holder has bolstered the team.

”We have that extra batter with Jason coming in, so the plan is to put pressure on the opposition. That’s the body language we want to carry. To go out there and not only hit boundaries and sixes, but choose smart shots.

”If we lost wickets early, we need to quickly assess the situation and see what the target should be. Quinton and Lewis wanted to put pressure on Washington, but it didn’t come off.” On Hooda, the captain said, ”I’ve been playing with Hooda for last 3-4 seasons, he doesn’t come out of the nets. Don’t really need to do so much nets when you’re batting so well, but he never comes out of the nets.

”He had to wait for his chance, he’s using that, and now is becoming someone you can rely on, in the middle order.” SRH skipper Kane Williamson said his team will ”reflect on the small margins” and look at the positives from the outing, which was comparatively better than their heavy defeat against Rajasthan Royals.

”Much better performance from the last outing. Our powerplay bowling was good with three wickets,” said Williamson, whose bowlers had LSG reeling at 27 for three after opting to field first. He added, ”If only we could break the next partnership but credit to Deepak Hooda and KL Rahul. That was the difference to take them to 170. There were glimpses where we put ourselves in positions to get over the line with the bat, but wasn’t good enough.
”It was a good surface. We knew if we can get some good partnerships, there was enough power in the hut. We’ll reflect on the small margins and look at the positives. I think the guys with the bowling roles were good. Some key death overs from us too.”

This was SRH’s second loss on the trot. ”A few ones and a few twos and the chase would’ve taken a different shape. The game is a game of small margins but we don’t want to get too far ahead and try to look back on those good bits.”

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