Sunrisers Hyderabad seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has blamed the dew factor and small total responsible for the title-holders’ four-wicket defeat against hosts Mumbai Indians in last night’s Indian Premier League game in Mumbai.
“I don’t think there was anything wrong with our batting. They tried their best. It was just one of those days when you play your shot and it goes to the fielders. We were 79 without loss in 10 overs which was a good start but 158 was not enough as dew was there,” Bhuvneshwar said at the post-match press conference on Wednesday night.
“It was difficult to defend. Although it’s the average score in T20, but on this ground it was below average. It’s very difficult to bowl when dew sets in. It’s not an excuse. We needed to get 2-3 wickets in power play,” said the swing bowler, who returned with impressive figures of 3 for 21 when most other bowlers of his team struggled in the conditions.
Put in to bat, Sunrisers got off to a sluggish start, accelerated a bit, but then lost their way once opener and skipper David Warner got out, trying to repeat a reverse-sweep off Harbhajan Singh after having hit the offie for a six in the previous ball.
Sunrisers kept on losing wickets at regular intervals after Warner was dismissed to a stunning, two handed diving catch by wicket keeper Parthiv Patel.
But Bhuvneshwar sought to downplay the shot, saying the attempt did not come as a surprise as Warner tries it in net sessions too.
“If he bats for 20 minutes five minutes he bats right handed in nets. It was not surprising. It was an amazing shot. AB (de Villiers) plays these shots,” said Bhuvneshwar.
Sunrisers score was 81 when Warner departed in the 11th over, but they quickly slumped to 123 for four and could not post a challenging total.
Chasing the small score, Mumbai’s senior batsmen – captain Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard – did not score big.
But other batsmen led by opener Parthiv Patel (49) and later Nitish Rana took Mumbai past the line.
Rana scored a 36-ball 45, thus narrowly missing his second successive half century in the tournament, hitting two sixes and three fours.
Bangladesh left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman, playing his first game, gave away plenty of runs (34) without completing his quota.
But Bhuvneshwar defended Mustafizur and said he was a key member of the squad and was certain to return to form.
“He will bounce back, it’s just one odd game. He was one of our main bowlers last year. There’s nothing we can talk to him. He just had an off game. We are pretty sure he will come back,” said Bhuvneshwar.
He also brushed aside queries whether Mustafizur had recovered sufficiently from his recent injury when asked about the player’s fitness.
“He played, that means he is fit,” Bhuvneshwar retorted.