Du Plessis: ‘When the confidence is low, there’s nowhere to hide’

Cricket

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After losing their fifth game in a row, this time out-hit at the Chinnaswamy as Sunrisers Hyderabad’s smashed a record 287 for 3, Royal Challengers Bengaluru captain Faf du Plessis admitted that such results could take a mental toll.

Even though RCB scored an impressive 262 for 7 in response, the runs conceded in the first innings were simply too many to overhaul, and he put it down to a lack of confidence in the bowling group. RCB came into this match having leaked 199 in 15.3 overs against Mumbai Indians in their last outing but started the match with only five bowlers, with Mohammed Siraj on the bench.

“It’s tough, we tried quite a few things, a few different things, and they weren’t quite working,” du Plessis said after the match. “So it’s a sign of confidence in the other group. When your confidence is low, there’s nowhere to hide in the game.

“The game is moving forward and so fast these days from the batters, so when you are not on top of your game [as a bowler], it’s hard. Obviously, with five bowlers, it’s tough on a wicket like that. We are going to keep trying different things.”

Du Plessis said taking a break to reset might be the best thing for his side before their next game on Sunday against Kolkata Knight Riders. As it stands, RCB have very slim qualification chances; even if they win each of their remaining seven games, it may not be enough.

“One thing really important is you need to go away and freshen your mind, it’s such a mental game,” he said. “Sometimes when we have a couple of back-to-back defeats, it feels like your mind is going to explode.

“It’s important to stay away from it and make sure that we do get back to the next challenge – which is obviously a little bit of an uphill task for us at the moment – but when we do get back to the contest, we show full commitment 100%.”

‘Proud to see the boys fought tonight’

After being stunned into silence by Sunrisers’ assault, the home fans at the Chinnaswamy did get to enjoy their own side putting up the season’s fourth-highest score of 262.

It was set up by du Plessis’ 28-ball 62, Virat Kohli‘s 20-ball 42 and a 35-ball 83 from Dinesh Karthik, who together took RCB to a score only one short of the franchise’s highest IPL score of 263 for 5 from IPL 2013. Du Plessis said he was most pleased with how the team did not “fall like a deck of cards” in the chase.

“Great effort from the team to get closer to the target,” he said. “Similarly from the batting perspective, we need to work on a few areas. There were some errors we need to address as a batting unit, there was a little bit of dip after the powerplay, [that] is something we want to work on. Need to make sure the run rate doesn’t go down and we keep going because the game has evolved and changed with the scores the teams are putting now.

“But really proud to see the boys fought tonight and put up their hand and never gave up. In a big chase like this, you often see teams falling like a deck of cards. Great to see the fight tonight. But from a bowling perspective, 30-40 runs too much.”

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