Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner has criticised his batters for playing cross-batted shots to left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed in the six-run defeat against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai. Ahmed took the wickets of Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey and Abdul Samad in the 17th over, which derailed the Sunrisers' chase.
"A very big [bitter pill to swallow]," Warner said on Star Sports after the Sunrisers lost their second consecutive game. "Quite disappointing how we approached it towards the middle. Against the left-arm orthodox bowler coming in, cross-batted shots and hitting them in the air is not the way to go over here. You have to try and assess that when you come in, and there was plenty of time to chase the total down and that too comfortably. It hurts."
With nine wickets in hand, the Sunrisers needed 54 runs in 41 balls to get their first win this season. But from there on, they lost eight wickets for just 46 runs in the remaining overs. Warner, who top-scored for them with 54, compared the defeat to the one suffered by the Kolkata Knight Riders against the Mumbai Indians on Tuesday. Although he had chosen to chase at the toss, Warner did not necessarily agree with the suggestion that batting first on the slow Chepauk surface is a better option for teams.
"At the end of the day, you look at the last four games here, the batting team second should've won each game," Warner said. "If you have people at the end, you should be winning the game. Last night's game was the perfect example; we almost played the identical game. There's no excuses."
While praising Glenn Maxwell's 41-ball 59 for the Royal Challengers, Warner also lauded his bowling unit, calling their performance "fantastic" to restrict the opposition to 149 for 8. With the Sunrisers set to play their next three games also at Chepauk, Warner laid the game plan for what his team needs to do to not falter again; their next game will be against Mumbai on April 17.
"We have three [more] games in this surface, we need to know how to approach it," Warner said. "The wickets aren't going to get better here. The key is to execute through the middle, try and take early wickets in the powerplay and when batting it's just to consolidate in the first six with minimal damage. We just [need to] make sure we have a big partnership with one guy at the back end. It's simple cricket."