Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach Brian Lara was “very impressed” by injury-prone pacer T Natarajan, whose performance was one of the few positives to have come out of the heavy loss against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.
The Royals won the game by 72 runs. Natarajan, whose career has been hampered by injuries, bounced back strongly after conceding 17 runs in his first over. He ended with figures of 23 for two in three overs.
“First of all injury-wise, he is back and he has the experience. How he came after the first over was very impressive.
“The bowlers did well in the last eight overs. At one point it looked that we would have chasing 225 plus but they (Royals) struggled to get over 200. There were some positives. The guys can improve from here,” said Lara on Sunday.
He also defended their decision to bowl first.
“We played a lot of practice sessions alongside the actual pitch. Those were a little bit bouncy and had a bit of pace on them. When we looked at the track for today we felt it was a good track and it was the first game of the tournament.
“We thought, let’s see if we can, with bowling being our strong suit during the camps, if we can put the opposition under pressure.”
He gave due credit to opposition spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and R Ashwin.
“Obviously, with a little bit of rough marks and with the class of Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin… We did not bowl as well as we should have in the opening overs and the guys put their hands up and said we got to improve in that area.”
Lara added their performance in both the powerplays cost them the game.
“If you split the game into two halves, we lost the first powerplay with the ball in our hands. And when we had the bat in our hands, we also lost power play. They got 85 and it obviously becomes tough when you lose two wickets in the first over chasing over 200,” Lara added.