'What went wrong here (UAE) in the last IPL was a tremendous lesson for us. I think, probably the biggest different is the aggression in our batting; we have come out lot more aggressive than we did last time.'
Chennai Super Kings batsmen’s strategy to be more aggressive on the slower UAE tracks is paying off, says their bowling consultant Eric Simons.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led outfit, he said, has learnt its lessons after a horrendous show in the 2020 edition, which was also held in the UAE.
"We have already spoken about what worked for us in India during the first half of the IPL (2021). We spoke about what we did wrong here (in the United Arab Emirates last time). You know any situation, often the bad performance is the best place to learn," Simons said, at the post-match press conference after his side outplayed Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah, on Friday.
CSK produced a clinical all-round show to humble Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets and claim the top spot in the IPL pecking order.
The former India bowling coach said that last IPL was a good learning experience.
"So, what went wrong here in the last IPL was a tremendous lesson for us. But, I think, probably the biggest difference is the aggression in our batting; we have come out lot more aggressive than we did last time," the bowling consultant explained.
Simons also had words of praise for all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who returned figures of 3/24, saying the team was "extremely happy" with his performance and the West Indian "has bowled particularly well in the last few matches”.
All-rounder Shardul Thakur also scalped two crucial wickets and Simons said that the Palghar boy was very smart in the way he used his tactics and ability to read the wicket and the batsman and the (game) situation.
Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Devdutt Padikkal, who scored stroke-filled 70, said the team was looking to get 170-180 on the board.
"Obviously, when you have a start like that, we would like to get to probably 170-180 at least and that's… we didn't really set a target like that because it can go above that as well.
"So, we were just looking to play the ball on its merit and try to get as many runs as possible; unfortunately, it just didn't work out today towards the end of the innings, but hopefully we can make that in the next game," Padikkal said.
Asked whether he and Virat could have shown more intent, Padikkal replied, "Yeah definitely, there is always things we can improve on.'
"And at that point, we were looking to take the game as deep as possible and we felt that the wicket was getting a little tougher. We knew that for someone new coming it, it won't be that easy to straight away get going.
"So yeah, that is what we were looking to do and try and take our chances whenever possible and pick the right spots and right bowlers at the right time."
Padikkal also defended the move to send Harshal Patel and Wanindu Hasaranga ahead of K S Bharat, saying both are capable batters.
"They both (are) two good batsmen as well and they are very much capable of clearing the boundaries and we have seen that in our practice matches and stuff like that and they are really capable batsmen as well.
"So there is no reason that they shouldn't be going higher and we just thought that the match-up was better for them to go out and get those runs for us; unfortunate it didn't work out, but yeah, these things happen," the southpaw said.
In both the games, against KKR and CSK, Padikkal was dismissed while playing the upper cut, and he said he would be more careful next time around.
"Definitely, I will keep working on that short (upper-cut). And it is a really high-run making short and I felt today it was on.
"It is just that I could not execute it well enough, and probably didn't come on as well as I expected it to, sometimes these things happen and that is not going to stop me from playing the shot but to be more careful next time," added the Karnataka opener.