Mike Hesson, the Director of Cricket at Royal Challengers Bangalore, admitted that the side were in a good position to get 175-180 on board in their Qualifier 2 loss to Rajasthan Royals. Bangalore were at 123/3 at the end of 15 overs and looked set to reach at least 170.
But Obed McCoy and Prasidh Krishna stalled their march in the death overs, with Bangalore getting just 34 runs off the final five overs, losing five wickets to be 157/8 in 20 overs, eventually proving to be a big factor in their seven-wicket loss ending their quest for their maiden IPL trophy.
“It’s a fair reflection; 123 for 3 with five overs to go, we were very much in a position to get potentially 175-180 with (Glenn) Maxwell set along with (Rajat) Patidar. We lost those two wickets and then in the last three overs, Obed McCoy and (Prasidh) Krishna bowled nicely, and we struggled to get any momentum. We only got 30 odd off the last five, probably leaving us 20 short,” said Hesson in the post-match virtual press conference.
Hesson felt that loss in Qualifier 2 was just a one-off day for Bangalore in last five overs with the bat. “You are always after more power hitters. I think between Maxwell, who was well set after 15 overs, Patidar has got power, Lomror has power, Shahbaz Ahmed has shown he’s got power. We have had a number of guys stand up along with Dinesh Karthik who has been outstanding.
“In the last five overs of the innings, our death run-scoring throughout the season has been exceptional. It’s probably more at the top end where we didn’t get that momentum, but other than today, we’ve pretty much nailed the last five overs of most innings.”
Now with Bangalore’s season over, Hesson pointed out that the side weren’t dependent on just two or three players to carry them throughout the tournament, which generally has been the case with them in previous seasons.
“If you rely solely on two or three players, you’re not going to make it to the playoffs. The beauty of our side has been we didn’t necessarily rely on all of our retained players. We built a squad around our retained players, but we didn’t necessarily have to rely on them for every game. That was probably the most pleasing aspect, the fact that so many different players stood out.
“Mohammed Siraj is a fine bowler; he didn’t have his best tournament, but we know that he will come back strong. He just quite didn’t get those new ball wickets, didn’t get the ball swinging, and lost a little bit of confidence, but as I said, he will bounce back.
“Glenn Maxwell had a good all-round season with both bat and ball – very high strike rate, average close to 30, strike rate of 170 and went for seven an over with the ball. Sure, you always want more, but he’s had a pretty good tournament.
“At the top of the order, Virat (Kohli) and Faf (du Plessis). Obviously, we started with Virat at three and moved him to the top and he certainly got better and better as the season went on. Look, he was in really good touch in the last four or five innings.”
“There are always things you want to tweak, when you get knocked out of a tournament, there are always areas we need to improve, but all in all, pleased with the way the team gelled this season,” concluded the former New Zealand head coach.