Kane Williamson's return to fitness, and the lack of form of the middle-order batsmen, forced Sunrisers Hyderabad to make a raft of changes for their Sunday night exchange with Delhi Capitals, and David Warner feels that made a difference to end result - Capitals winning by 39 runs after Sunrisers went from 101 for 2 to 116 all out.
"I don't like hindsight. Today, there was a decision that they [the team management] made - I'm no longer part of that process, I don't know what their thinking was - but when you lose that experience in the middle, it can be quite challenging and quite difficult for the new guys that come in," Warner said of the call to leave out Mohammad Nabi, Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey to fit in Williamson, Ricky Bhui and Abhishek Sharma.
Of those dropped, while Nabi had been impressive with the ball when given a chance, Pathan (32 runs in five innings with a strike rate of 86.48) and Pandey (54 runs in five innings, strike rate 93.10) had been struggling to score runs.
"When you lose that experience in the middle, it can be quite challenging and quite difficult for the new guys that come in" DAVID WARNER
That must have forced the team management's hand, but the three men brought in scored a total of 12 runs in 23 balls on the day, failing to give the innings the solidity it needed in the middle overs after Warner (51 off 47) and Jonny Bairstow (41 off 31) had given them another great start.
"But there is no excuses - we got off to a good start, we didn't capitalise on those middle periods, there were a lot of ones, not many twos, they [Capitals] shut down the boundaries well and they bowled very well," Warner said. "We just missed a couple of opportunities to hit boundaries through that middle period."
Sunrisers, after winning three of their first four games, have now lost three in a row to slip to sixth place on the points table, only above Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
"We got off to a good start, again, without losing a wicket. You look at the overs between seven and 13, we had a fair few dots, we didn't find too many boundaries, and from that position we were in, you should be chasing … I think it was ten an over, 11 an over towards the back end," Warner elaborated.
"I think we probably didn't utilise those middle periods as well as we'd like. We're generally pretty good running between the wickets, but we failed to just hit that boundary. And again, we lost wickets after a start, which is disappointing.
"I take responsibility as well, as an in batsman, you try and be there at the end. Unfortunate that that's the way I play, I tried to look for a boundary but I was unlucky," he said of holing out off Kagiso Rabada at mid-off in the 17th over.
Colin Munro, the Capitals batsman who hit a 24-ball 40 earlier in the evening, credited his team's bowlers - Rabada, Chris Morris and Keemo Paul picked up all ten wickets between them - for giving them a win that seemed unlikely while Warner and Bairstow were in the middle.
"They obviously got off to a good start, but we knew if we stayed in the game and we stayed in the contest for every ball, it was going to go down to the wire, and we got those breakthroughs and those wickets at crucial stages," Munro said. "They got away from us in terms of the [required] run rate, so credit to our bowlers, how we fought every single ball and stayed in the contest."
The win took Capitals to ten points from eight games and the No. 2 spot on the points table, only behind Chennai Super Kings, who are well ahead on 14 points from the same number of games.