Royal Challengers Bangalore Director of Cricket and head coach Mike Hesson accepted that the team made the wrong decision after winning the toss against Kolkata Knight Riders.
On Monday, RCB lost to KKR by nine wickets in Abu Dhabi. Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat first but KKR bowlers led by Varun Chakravarthy bowled brilliantly to skittle down RCB to 92.
RCB were 41/2 at the end of the powerplay with both the openers Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal back in the dugout. West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell (3/9) and Chakravarthy (3/13) were the top picks in the KKR bowling attack.
Hesson said that his team should have got at least 150 in the first innings and commented that his batters lacked sharpness on the field.
“I think it was actually to get any form of distraction out early. We talked about making that announcement as soon as possible really, all the players were aware of it. It has not impacted performance against KKR, we were not sharp with the bat, we lost wickets. But I am confident that this group will turn around pretty quickly,” Hesson said in a virtual post-match press conference.
“The team combination was not the problem today. To be fair, we probably got the toss wrong. It was not a 93-run wicket, we should have been able to get to 150. Whether that would have been enough or not, it is debatable because the ball started to slide down, but we were not sharp enough with the bat,” Hesson added.
Andhra Pradesh wicketkeeper-batsman KS Bharat was handed his IPL debut against KKR on Monday.
Bharat scored 16 runs and also donned the gloves behind the stumps in place of South Africa batsman AB de Villiers, who kept the wickets in the first leg of IPL 2021.
Hesson explained that they had to bring in Bharat in order to relieve de Villiers from keeping duties and hence they had to drop Rajat Patidar, who scored 71 runs from four games in the first leg.
“AB de Villiers did not have the gloves, we have to look after him. He is an important player for us, he is not one we can risk behind the stumps so that was unfortunate for Rajat (Patidar) as we needed a keeper-bat to do the role for us at number three. To be fair, KS Bharat has been outstanding in the camp and he deserves his inclusion,” Hesson explained.
“We were pretty clear in terms of Virat batting at the top, it is a lot harder to start against spin. We are very happy with Devdutt Padikkal and Virat opening the batting for us, high-quality players, left-right combination and KS Bharat can bat anywhere. We were forced for that change with AB de Villiers not keeping,” Hesson signed off.
RCB will face CSK in a mouth-watering clash on September 24 in Sharjah.