Titan’s capitulation ‘had nothing to do with the pitch’, says Shubman Gill

1xC Team

“Our batting performance was very average,” Gill said at the post-match presentation. “I think the wicket was alright, to be honest. If you see our dismissals, the ball I got out to had nothing to do with the pitch. Even the way Wriddhi [Wriddhiman Saha] bhai got out had nothing to do with the pitch, and Sai [Sudharsan] got run out. So I don’t think it had anything to do with the pitch. Just a bad batting performance and poor shot selection, I would say.”

After being sent in, Titans lost Gill in the second over, caught at extra cover off Ishant Sharma. Two overs later, Saha played on against Mukesh Kumar, and by the end of the powerplay, they were 30 for 4.

David Miller felt the pitch was “a bit sticky” but not one where a team would typically get bowled out so cheaply. “There was a couple of wickets that were really unlucky, just strange dismissals,” he said. “He [Gill] played a bit early and got caught at cover. Another day he is hitting that for four. So the wicket was a bit sticky but certainly not a 90-all-out.

“We were definitely below par tonight. You can make all the excuses in the world, but at the end of the day, we didn’t play good enough cricket.

“You are not going to win too many games when you are three or four wickets down in the powerplay. A score of 120-plus would have been at least something presentable for the bowlers to bowl at. But below 100 was just not enough. So, yeah, it’s one of those things and we just couldn’t get any momentum. Rashid [Khan, who scored 31 off 24] came in and played with good intent, and kind of proved maybe playing with a lot of intent was the way forward.”

Speaking on ESPNcricinfo’s analysis show T20 Time Out, Ian Bishop said tonight’s showing added up to worrying signs for Titans.
“It’s the second time this season,” Bishop said of Titans’ batting failure. “When they played Lucknow, and Lucknow got 160-odd and they didn’t even get close to it. To me, at that time, there was no reason why Shubman and his team shouldn’t have got that total. The ball didn’t do a whole heap off the surface. So this is quite worrying that at least on two occasions so early in the season they have capitulated when the pitch conditions suggested it should not have been like that.”

In the last two seasons, a distinct feature of Titans’ success was different players stepping up in different games. This time, in the absence of Hardik Pandya (traded) and Mohammed Shami (injured), they have seemed over-reliant on Gill in the batting department, and Rashid Khan and Mohit Sharma in the bowling.

Gill is their leading run-scorer, with 263 runs in seven games at an average of 43.83 and a strike rate of 151.14. He is also the only Titans batter to score a fifty this season. Sudharsan is the second on the runs chart for them but his 238 have come at a much lower strike rate: 127.95. In fact, as of Wednesday night, Titans’ scoring rate of 8.08 is the lowest among the ten teams in the competition.
Their latest defeat means they are now seventh on the points table. Miller, though, was hopeful of a turnaround.

“We got absolutely pumped but the thing is, if we had won tonight, we would have been four [wins] from seven [games],” he said. “It just was one of those games where I don’t feel anything went our way. As I said a couple of games ago, I don’t feel there are any areas of major concern. There have been one or two games where we haven’t played to our potential but if everyone just plays the way they can, I think everything is pretty sweet. I think it’s just looking at ourselves in the mirror, making sure that we’re ready for the next game.

“Everyone wrote us off the last two years and we were in the finals both years. So it’s just about making sure everyone sticks to their contribution for the team and, most certainly, it was just one of those results tonight.”

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