'Middle order has to wake up' - KL Rahul
Sunrisers Hyderabad are yet to work out a solution to their misfiring middle order which cost them victory over Mumbai Indians at Wankhede stadium on Saturday. Set a middling 157 to win, they were muzzled to 137 for 8 and KL Rahul, who has been part of the problem, has called for smarter cricket from himself and his team-mates.
Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner have accounted for more than half the runs made by the team's batsmen - 459 out of 893 - and average above 40 each. But Ravi Bopara, with 111 runs at 27.75, KL Rahul, with 100 runs at 25 and Naman Ojha, with 79 runs at 15.8, have been unable to keep up.
"The middle order has to wake up and get runs for the team," Rahul told iplt20.com. "If the middle order keeps batting like this then there is going to be too much pressure on Warner and Dhawan at the top of the order," he said. "There is firepower in the middle order with Ravi Bopara and Naman Ojha who can hit the ball, but we just have not been able to click well as a batting unit. It is something that we need to work on"
Rahul batted at No. 3 and made a painstaking 25 off 27, with only one boundary. His partnership with Bopara - 36 in 6.1 overs at less than run-a-ball - nullified the momentum gained after Dhawan and Warner had helped crack 52 runs in the Powerplay.
"I walked in today and it is very disappointing that I couldn't close the game for the team," Rahul said. "I think I need to play smartly. I have been playing some stupid shots. I have been getting off to starts, which is a positive sign. My feet are moving well and I am looking confident but I have to be a smarter in the middle and soak up that pressure.
"I have to keep going through and play twenty overs. Once I play 20-25 balls the team is expecting you to deliver and get a big score. I have been lacking on that front."