Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul wants his batting unit to put pressure on the opposition by playing aggressive but risk-free cricket, look for the fours and sixes, but also "choose smart shots".
Rahul and Co. earned their second successive win in the Indian Premier League 2022, beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by 12 runs on Monday (April 4). Having scored 169 for 7 after a disastrous start, LSG stopped SRH at 157 for 9.
Winning games like these will give a lot of confidence to LSG, and Rahul touched upon that at the post-match presentation. "What's pleasing is that we've found a way to stay in the game and give ourselves a good chance of winning. We did that again today," Rahul said.
While pacer Avesh Khan (4/24) shone bright with the ball, Rahul and Deepak Hooda did the bulk of scoring for LSG. "Not ideal to lose three wickets early, but we need to give ourselves a little time since we bat deep and we have power at the death. That's something we need to learn as a batting group - how to play risk-free cricket while looking for fours.
"But with the ball, we've been brilliant in all three games. We don't chat so much in the middle. As opening batsmen, you give yourselves a couple of balls and if the wicket is good then both openers have to go."
Rahul said the addition of all-rounder Jason Holder has bolstered the team. "We have that extra batter with Jason coming in, so the plan is to put pressure on the opposition. That's the body language we want to carry. To go out there and not only hit boundaries and sixes, but choose smart shots.
"If we lost wickets early, we need to quickly assess the situation and see what the target should be. Quinton and Lewis wanted to put pressure on Washington, but it didn't come off."
Talking about Hooda, the captain said, "I've been playing with Hooda for last 3-4 seasons, he doesn't come out of the nets. Don't really need to do so much nets when you're batting so well, but he never comes out of the nets. He had to wait for his chance, he's using that, and now is becoming someone you can rely on, in the middle-order."
Avesh was named Player of the Match and is was quite satisfied with his performance. "The plan always is how I can pick up wickets in the powerplay and slog overs. The plan is to always bowl dots and try to hit the yorker length. I always get a lot of support from the captain and support staff, and want bowl with the same rhythm."
(With inputs from PTI)