Muttiah Muralitharan content with team’s overall performance despite Eliminator loss

The eliminator as curtailed to a 6 overs affair after rain played spoilsport followimg the conclusion of SRH innings.

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan said he was disappointed with the team’s elimination, but was happy with the overall performance. Having finished third after the group stage, the defending champions failed to overcome the Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday in a rain-curtailed match at the Chinnaswamy.

Muttiah Muralitharan shared his views about rain interruptions in matches like these and said that no one can be blamed for the loss. Put in to bat first, the Sunrisers managed just 128 in 20 overs, following which the rain pelted down on the Chinnaswamy stadium. The Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers did extremely well to restrict the likes of Warner and Dhawan early on.


Bengaluru witnessed yet another low-scoring game, which saw KKR chase down 48 in just under the stipulated 6 overs to advance to the second qualifier. “I think overall if you see, the Bengaluru wicket this year was very low scoring. I though 130 is a par score at Bengaluru, and we thought we had a good chance of defending that total, because the wicket was so hard that it was spinning too much up and down. In addition, I think with more runs on the board and if you take two or three wickets in a 20-over game, we would have had a better chance than playing a six-over game, because 10 wickets in hand along with some moisture, the ball skids a lot,” Muralitharan shared.

“The wicket is not that great to play shots here [Bengaluru], because if you had played your shots, you would have been bowled out for 70-80 runs. We were thinking about putting 140 runs in the total, and if we had a 20-over game, we had the bowling to defend. Unfortunately, we were 10 runs short. They bowled well as well. Therefore, in a similar manner, if we had taken two or three wickets early, even they would have struggled,” the former Sri Lankan spinner added.

In contrast to last year’s wicket which saw Virat Kohli pile up runs in Bengaluru, the pitch at the Chinnaswamy was a sluggish one this season. The home team RCB itself scored a maximum of 157 on this track against the Delhi Daredevils in one of the few matches they won this season. Overall, the highest total on this wicket was posted by Rising Pune Supergiant, who scored 161 against RCB.

“We have all seen on this wicket this season, even while defending 130, teams have won. Unfortunately, it was the rain, which you cannot complain about, and you need to move on because they played better. We had a very good season and we played well. However, unfortunately, you need to go out sometimes when you are in the knockouts. Therefore, unfortunately this year is not our year. We will make sure if we can build the same team next year, come back and fight for the trophy,” he added.

“Had we played and won [against RCB], we would have been in Mumbai [for Qualifier 1]. It’s destiny. Twenty more minutes and we would have gone through. It’s all about destiny. It’s part and parcel of the game, said Muralitharan.

Never expect it to rain says Murali

The rain came all of a sudden following the end of the first innings on Wednesday. After heavy showers and strong winds which made life rather hard for the ground staff, the chase was curtailed to just 6 overs as a result of the rain. For a batting line-up of KKR’s calibre, chasing 48 in 6 overs wasn’t too tall an ask.

“We all preferred a 20-over game. We never expected it to rain. So, unfortunately, these things happen. Cricket is all about its unpredictability. Anybody can win; anybody can lose at a time. Our batsmen batted well, the bowlers, who were picked in the auction, did well as well. Therefore, we are satisfied with our players along with our performance as well,” Muralitharan said.

“We also won eight matches or something, while we just lost five matches, along with this loss. We won it last year, and that is not going to happen every time. Every team tries hard. Therefore, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. We take it on the chin and say ‘Ok, it’s not our year’. I also congratulate all the players who played really well for us,” he continued.

Mumbai Indians will battle it out against the Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier, which will also be held in Bengaluru. As for the defending champions, they’ll be on their way home.

“We are all disappointed of not getting through, but overall we are happy with our performance. You cannot count on one loss. How well we have played, and how well our players have performed, I am very happy with it. The coaches are also very happy, and so are the players, because there were some great performances this year. Nevertheless, we will have our chances in the future and we should make sure that we give our best, which was not good enough today. Therefore, next time we are surely going to try harder,” he concluded