Believing is the key

The objective before taking the field for the first Qualifier was to win and seal our berth in the final. We were playing on our home-ground and had the usual backing of the fans. We won the toss as well and put Rising Pune Supergiant in to bat. A late surge took them to 162 and our chase was in disarray early, as we lost wickets at regular intervals. The one positive that we can take out of the chase is Parthiv Patel’s half-century. The experienced south-paw tried his best to hold one end up, but wickets kept on falling at the other. At the post-match conference, Parthiv Patel took a few questions.

We were on top of the game till about the 18th over of the first innings. Runs weren’t give away easily till then and Parthiv was asked what happened after that stage. “These things do happen when a set batsman is out in the middle, like Dhoni. We were obviously in control, but I won’t say just because of our bowling we gave away those runs.”

Jasprit Bumrah was tonked by Dhoni in the final over of the innings. Parthiv backed Bumrah and explained why Bumrah was the best choice to bowl that over. “If you have seen the games in this season, he has generally been successful against Dhoni. You have to sometimes give it to the batsmen. Bumrah has done well usually, but this time around, we should give credit to Dhoni.”

We had made 6 changes in our final league game and four for the Qualifier as some of the regular members got back into the side. Parthiv assured that the shuffling the line-up in the last two games didn’t have any side-effects on the way we played. “I had a niggle, so I stayed back at the hotel. I was playing my last 2-3 games with the niggle. Sometimes, in a tournament like this, you need a break. We were not rusty, but we needed the rest and rightly so.”

Parthiv Patel is happy that we finished in the top two of the points table on the backing of some good cricket that we played in our 14 games. “We have played well throughout the tournament and have to keep believing. We have another chance because of that (playing well earlier). It is important to forget what has happened and treat the next game as a semi-final.”

Harbhajan Singh, our most experienced spinner in the side was left out of the playing XI. Parthv enlightened the media on the strategic reason behind the move. “Having so many right-handers in their side, our team management took a call to play with two spinners who would turn the ball away. I don’t think it was a bad move.”

Parthiv stayed in the middle more than any other batsman from our side, during the chase. He believed that we lost wickets too frequently. “This was a par score but I think we lost too many wickets post 6 overs, which didn’t help us in the chase. The score was not a problem to chase down.”

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