We could have chased better, says Vijay Shankar
Gujarat Titans batter Vijay Shankar has blamed the team's batters after their loss to Chennai Super Kings in the IPL Qualifier 1 here, saying "we could have chased better".
In the match, CSK did well to reach 172 for 7 on a slow Chepauk pitch after Hardik Pandya opted to bowl.
Considering the conditions, it turned out to be much more than a competitive total as Gujarat Titans had a rare off day to end with 157 all out in 20 overs.
"I think we could have chased better. We could have got the game much closer," the cricketer from Tamil Nadu told reporters after the match on Tuesday.
The defending champions went down by 15 runs in pursuit of 173.
The GT chase was derailed by the CSK spinners, who squeezed the run flow in the middle with Ravindra Jadeja and Maheesh Theekshana keeping things tight and also picking up wickets.
"I think they (CSK) bowled pretty well in the middle overs. The middle overs are very, very important for any team that is chasing. We lost wickets. Otherwise, if you see, we lost by 15 runs.
"If two batters were batting, things would have been different. It is just about losing a wicket at the wrong time. Maybe a partnership of 20, 30 runs in the middle could have got us closer to the game," Shankar said.
He was asked about the shuffle in the batting order. Shankar had batted brilliantly against Royal Challengers Bangalore a few days ago at No.3 but came in at No.5 against CSK with his team at 88/4.
"Actually, if you see overall in this season, all the batters have played in different positions. So it is not just this game... most of the games..."
"I think that was the strength of our batting unit as well. Whoever went in different situations, we were able to adapt to it and get runs for the team," he added.
"When you lose a wicket and when you lose a game, things will look odd that we have changed a lot and all. But we have been playing like this overall right from game 1 until now. I think we have shuffled our batting according to the conditions and situations and we have done well."
Shankar and Rashid Khan managed to revive GT's chances before their dismissals put paid to their hopes.
"Even the over that I got out, I felt I could have calculated a little better. I could have targeted in a better way. So it was a great learning for us. I think we have won a lot of games chasing and this is one of game that we had," said Shankar, who this season has scored 301 runs at 160.11 in 12 matches.
He was optimistic of the team doing well in Qualifier 2 in Ahmedabad where it will take on the winner of the Eliminator between Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Super Giants.
"I think till now, we have been playing a lot of home and away games. So it is just about going there and adapting to our conditions as quickly as we can. And overall, we've been playing wonderful cricket."
"So one game won't change much. So it is just about regrouping and coming out and giving our best for the team," he added.