IPL 2021: RR coach Sangakkara says, ‘we need to improve in the middle overs’ after narrow loss to Punjab Kings

IPL 2021: RR vs PBKS- Rajasthan Royals' Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara says the team needs to improve and focus in the middle overs
IPL 2021: RR vs PBKS- Rajasthan Royals' Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara says the team needs to improve and focus in the middle overs | RR

IPL 2021- RR vs PBKS: In a duel of batting prowess at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday, Rajasthan Royals suffered a narrow 4-run loss to Punjab Kings after chasing a mammoth 222-target in their opening match of the IPL 2021. While Sanju Samson’s 119 kept RR in the hunt, it was their bowling that did not impress many including Kumar Sangakkara, their Director of Cricket. Sangakkara felt his team lost focus in the middle overs of their bowling.

“No one is happy with the loss. For sure, I think the players are hurting more than anyone. They played with a lot of commitment and passion. They gave everything and as coaches and support staff, that’s all you can ask for. The only thing that. You know, we have to understand it and be realistic about the areas of the game that we need to improve. And that is the middle period where we kind of lost our rhythm and our way a little bit. It needs to be addressed,” Kumar Sangakkara said in the post-match press conference on Monday after their 1st match of IPL 2021.

Also Read: IPL 2021: Sanju Samson’s brilliant century in vain as Punjab Kings win last-ball thriller

From 13th over to 17th over, Rajasthan Royals conceded 81 runs with Shivam Dube and Shreyas Gopal getting hit for 20 runs in the 13th and 14th over, respectively. In the following two overs, Rajasthan conceded 11 runs each before Sakariya gave away 15 runs.

“There was a, um, 3-4 overs period in the middle where we really should have stayed committed and focused, had more energy and really positive commitment,” Sangakkara said after their first match of IPL 2021.

Also Read: IPL 2021- PBKS vs RR: IPL’s costliest player Chris Morris fails to deliver in death overs for Rajasthan Royals

While RR bowlers were not really impressive in terms of slowing down the run-rate, they did get wickets. Chris Morris, IPL’s most expensive player with a price tag of Rs 16.25 crore, did get two wickets but conceded 25 runs in the death overs. The wickets also included a fantastic catch from Sakariya and the other one was a mishit from Nicholas Pooran. But Sangakkara did not want to concentrate on that. Rather, he was impressed with the wickets that the team got in the death overs. Had it not been for Sakariya’s heroics in the final over that resulted in just five runs and two wickets, Rajasthan would have to stare at a bigger margin of defeat.

I think we had a great power play, a great end to a bowling and things and, and I, and a wonderful, uh, you know, batting and things. It is the first game. People get to know each other and fall into a certain rhythm as the tournament goes on. We’ve just got to do that quicker. Stay ahead of the game a little bit and stay committed to our plans,” Sangakkara said.