Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner defended his decision to bat first despite most captains choosing to do otherwise in the first week of IPL 2020 so far after his team’s 7-wicket loss against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.
Warner’s decision was the first time a captain opted to bat first after winning the toss, even though 6 of the 7 matches before this one had been won by the team batting first.
But SRH couldn’t do what Chennai Super Kings had managed in the first match of the season as they failed to defend a moderate score of 142 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. SRH dropped down to the last spot in the table after their second successive loss in as many games.
“I think I got my decision right. For us, our strength is death bowling. I thought it was actually a difficult wicket to accelerate on. I don’t regret what I did at the beginning of the game and I stick by my decision,” Warner said after the loss.
Warner instead gave credit to the Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers, especially Pat Cummins, who were superb throughout the first innings which led to their comprehensive victory.
“Cummins bowled Test match line and length. There was a little bit of movement. It got harder in the middle. We went four or five overs for 20 probably killed us a bit there.
“Extra 30 or 40 runs would have been great. We have to go harder at the top. Can’t help if the bowlers are bowling right lines and lengths,” Warner said.
KKR rode on Shubman Gill and Eoin Morgan’s unbroken 92-run partnership for the 4th wicket to win the match with 2 overs to spare. Gill top-scored with 70 not out off 62 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes while Morgan remained unbeaten on 42 off 29 balls.
Morgan spoke about his partnership with the young Indian batsman after the game and praised Gill for his matured innings.
“Nice feeling to get a win under our belt. We were a bit rusty in our last game against MI, but we won this match with our bowlers, they did a great job restricting them.
“They put them on the back-foot and we knew we didn’t have to put ourselves under pressure in the chase. Good bat swing, very languid style, magnificent to watch, I think he deserves all the success (when asked about Shubman Gill),” Morgan said after KKR’s 1st win of the season.