Unbelievable things happen in T20 cricket. Rashid Khan, leading Gujarat Titans in the absence of the regular skipper Hardik Pandya, experienced the same at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Match 13 of IPL 2023.
Needing 28 off the last five balls of the innings, Kolkata Knight Riders’ batter Rinku Singh took the side home with five sixes in a row. He became the first ever batter in all T20s to hit five sixes in the last over of a successful chase where ball data is available.
Rashid called it a tough game for the side but also shed light on the fact that his side won similar kind of games the previous season.
“It's a tough game for us, especially for me as a captain,” said Rashid in the post-match presentation. “You need 30 plus in the last over, the same thing happened for us last year when we won. We will learn from it, more importantly, a good game of cricket and the fans would have loved it,” he explained further.
Rashid was no short of praises for Rinku who etched his name in history books with his power-hitting at a clutch time. “Rinku played unbelievable shots and credit goes to him for the way he played and for the way he finished,” the GT stand-in skipper mentioned.
On being asked if the target was enough, the leg-spinner said his team got a few runs extra than what they initially envisioned.
“We got what we wanted. We wanted 190 and we got 200. As a bowling unit, we got enough to defend, but sometimes in T20, even 250 does not look good. Take positives from this, it's still early in the competition and learn from it,” he said.
Rashid is also confident that this defeat won’t hurt the morale of his side. “Definitely not. Chin up and keep smiling and we come back stronger and stronger,” Rashid was clear in his thought process.
The 24-year old who picked up a hat-trick a few overs before the Rinku Singh mayhem was also asked about the Impact Player rule in the tournament. Rashid reckons it is a forward step in the benefit of T20 cricket.
“It's good and something new is happening in T20, it makes you mature and I feel it's very good for the game of cricket,” he said.
Despite the defeat, Rashid reckons leading in these games will only help him as a cricketer moving forward: “For my future it's great, leading the team in IPL gives you lots of knowledge for the future. Good learning for me as a player and as a captain.”
This is Gujarat’s first defeat in the season after winning the first two games by a decent margin. Their next fixture is on Thursday, where they will play an away match against Punjab Kings.