On Sunday as the last IPL 2020 double header came to a close, two teams joined Chennai Super Kings on their way back home, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals. Both teams lost their respective games to be knocked out of the tournament. As Steve Smith expectedly wore a deserted look on his face, the RR captain rued some missed opportunities that came along the way, especially after getting their campaign off to two wins from two matches chasing targets in excess of 200.
Smith’s RR managed 131/9 in reply to Kolkata Knight Riders’ 191/7, powered by their captain Eoin Morgan’s classy half-century. RR, despite scoring 19 runs off the first over, were hit by a storm called Pat Cummins, who shredded their top order and reduced them to 37/5, a situation RR could never recover from. (Full coverage of IPL 2020)
“I thought it was around a 180 wicket. There was a bit of dew. Losing four in the Powerplay, it was always going to be tough from there. Cummins bowled nice lengths, made us play some good shots. We got off to a flier, but then we lost wickets in a clump. Unfortunate way to end,” Smith said after the match.
Looking back at the campaign, Smith admitted he expected a better performance from his top order along with the fact that RR could not build on their early momentum. That said, Smith acknowledged two positives from this campaign, which was Jofra Archer and Rahul Tewatia’s form. Archer lived up to his reputation and finished the tournament with 20 wickets, while Tewatia emerged as one of the finds of this year’s IPL, playing a couple of blazing, match-winning knocks for RR.
“We started off really well, won the last two before this one. In the middle we lost our way. Our batters, the top four or five didn’t take responsibility perhaps,” Smith added. “Couple of real positives. Jofra has been exceptional in pretty much every game. Tewatia obviously has pulled a few out of the hat throughout the tournament. He has bowled exceptionally well throughout the tournament. Not enough support for them.”