A dejected Lucknow Super Giants skipper KL Rahul blamed sloppy fielding for his team's 14-run defeat at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL Eliminator while acknowledging Rajat Patidar's brilliant hundred being the difference between the two teams.
The 28-year-old Indore man Patidar scored a 54-ball 112 not out to singlehandedly win the IPL Eliminator for RCB.
"I think it's quite obvious - the reasons why we didn't win. We let ourselves down in the field. Dropping easy catches never helps. Difference was obviously Patidar playing such a knock. When someone in the top three scores a hundred, more often the team wins," Rahul said after the match.
Patidar was dropped thrice on the day en route his hundred and Rahul was livid with his team's fielding.
"They fielded really well and we were poor," he summed it up.
He however was happy that as a new franchise they finished in top four in their first season.
"We'll take back a lot of positives. It's a new franchise. We've made a lot of mistakes, every team does that. Have to try and come back stronger. It's a young team. They'll learn from their mistakes, go back home and try and be better players."
There was special praise for Mohsin Khan, who once again was a shining star in an otherwise poor bowling effort.
"Mohsin showed everybody how good he is and what skill he possesses. As he grows with confidence, he'll be able to clock speeds which are much higher. He will learn and develop a few more skills hopefully by next season."
Patidar's hundred is one of the best I have seen, says Du Plessis
RCB skipper Faf du Plessis couldn't stop gushing about young Patidar, who he feels has a good head on his shoulders.
"I am over the moon. For a young guy to play like he did. The way he celebrated also tells you he has a good head on his shoulders. His hundred was one of the best I have seen in the IPL," Du Plessis said.
Patidar hit 12 fours and seven sixes in his knock and what impressed his skipper was how he played shots all around the wicket.
"He has got all the shots. Every single time he attacks, he transfers the pressure back on the opposition."
No discussion is complete without a mention about 'King of Death' Harshal Patel, whose 18th over proved to be decisive.
"A special card I can pick. He bowls the important overs. Second last one over from him changed the game for us."
It wasn't in my control that I wasn't picked at auction, says Patidar.
Rajat Patidar was ignored at this year's auction only to be picked as an injury replacement but the 28-year-old never cared about things which he couldn't really control.
"I was busy after the 2021 IPL playing for my club. I wasn't picked after the 2021 IPL but that wasn't in my control."
On his innings, Patidar said that his ability to make up for the dot balls is his real strength.
"I never feel any pressure as I think I have the ability to make up for the dots," he said.
The last over of the Powerplay where he launched into Krunal Pandya gave him confidence that this could be his day after all.
"When I time the ball, my focus was on it. The last over of the powerplay when Krunal was bowling to me, my execution went fine then and I got confident afterwards. The wicket was pretty good and I played some good shots."