"I think we were on top of the game in the first 15 overs and then Dhoni batted us out in the end. Went through the scores and I thought it will be a good chance but the 18 runs is a reflection of the game itself," Hopes said at the post-match press conference.
The Australian all-rounder admitted that his team will now try to put a combination in place for the next year.
"We are trying to put in place a combination for next year. At the same time, we still want to win games. Tonight, we had a chance to win the game."
"In any sport, it takes time to gel. With the World Cup finishing so close to start of the IPL, that perhaps did not help our cause in first few games. We struggled to perform," he added.
Asked about the logic of going into match with a single specialist spinner, Hopes defended the move stating, "The bowlers did a good job for us. I did not want to bowl an off-spinner (Nagar) as Dhoni was hitting the bowlers out of the park."
"Till then things were under control. But Dhoni took the game away from us in the 19th over," he concluded.