In the centre of the saliva on the ball controversy, Robin Uthappa said Dubai's slow wicket did not help Rajasthan Royals in their chase against Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai on Wednesday. After two wins on the trot, RR lost by 37 runs chasing KKR's 174/6. The Royals has won the toss and decided to field.
Robin Uthappa admitted his team's failure to adjust to the slowness of the Dubai strip after a couple success on Sharjah batting belters was the reason for the defeat.
Defending 175, Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti wreaked havoc against the in-form Rajasthan Royals batting to send them tottering at 88/8 inside 15 overs before Tom Curran's 54 not out reduced the margin of defeat.
"Towards the end, the wicket (pitch) was getting a little tired (slow), so stopping a little bit. So yeah, in hindsight, we definitely felt maybe we would have taken a little bit more time to get adjusted and then taken the attack to the bowlers," Uthappa said in a post-match news conference in Dubai.
KKR bowlers on target
Jos Buttler started off in a blazing fashion as Sunil Narine conceded 12 runs in his first over.
In the next over, skipper Steve Smith tried to slog every ball against his Aussie teammate Pat Cummins and even survived a dropped catch before being dismissed for 3. Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy then claimed two wickets each to derail Royals' chase.
"We actually play a certain brand of cricket. Today, we continued to play that as a batting line-up," Uthappa said.
The Royals' meek surrender came on the back of their highest tournament chase of 224 runs against Kings XI Punjab.
"We chased a big score in the last game. Obviously, there's a lot of confidence coming in from that game. Also we felt that the wicket will play well.
"Maybe we could have taken a little bit more time to adjust to the pace of the wicket and then taking the attack to the bowlers," Uthappa, an ex-KKR player said.
It's a learning for RR
Uthappa said the wicket had slowed down because the same strip a couple of days ago had hosted the Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians match that the former won in the Super-Over finish.
"It was a used wicket -- the game that RCB played against Mumbai Indians, I think it's the same wicket that we played on, so stopping a bit."
"I think it's a good learning experience. So moving forward, I think this learning will hold us in good stead. Our performance will only climb from here on him," said Uthappa.
Rajasthan Royals will next face Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
(With inputs from PTI)