Navi Mumbai, The decision to go against the trend and bat first did not pay off but it is something Gujarat Titans needed to do to get out of their comfort zone ahead of the bigger battles that await them in the IPL, said skipper Hardik Pandya.
In more than 90 per cent matches played this IPL season, captains have decided to bowl first after winning the toss. However, Hardik on Tuesday diverged from the norm and decided to bat first on winning the toss.
However, his team could not make the most of the conditions and were restricted to 143/8 in 20 overs and eventually succumbed to an eight-wicket defeat to Punjab Kings at the DY Patil Stadium here on Tuesday.
Though his team succumbed to a big defeat, Gujarat Titans skipper backed his decision to bat first.
“I back my decision to bat first because we need to put ourselves in difficult situations where we come out of our comfort zone. We’ve been doing well chasing but we wanted to make sure that we put our batters under pressure so that when the right game comes and we have to bat first, we should know how we have to go. It was an exercise which we wanted to try,” Pandya said.
The Gujarat Titans skipper blamed the loss of wickets at regular intervals for his team’s defeat.
“Obviously, we were not even close to par. 170 would have been an ideal score but we kept losing wickets and did not get any rhythm,” he said. The star all-rounder said they wanted to try setting up a target and were not successful but will take this as a learning experience.
“We knew the new ball might do something, but we kept losing wickets. If you keep losing wickets no matter the conditions, your batting is always going to be under pressure. We didn’t get the start we wanted but I’ll take the loss as a learning curve and as I said we need to come out of our comfort zone, try to bat first and put up some totals as well,” he said.
“Even when we were winning, we were always talking about getting better. We’ll have a chat about where things did not go our way and focus on the things we need to get better for our next game. We don’t have much time. We need to regroup. Losing is a part of the sport and more often than not we’ve been on the winning side,” he added.
It was only the second loss for table-toppers Gujarat in the ongoing IPL 2022 season and they now have a short turnaround time with their next game coming up on Friday against the Mumbai Indians at the Brabourne Stadium.