I didn't ask reasons for my exclusion: Gurkeerat

Gurkeerat Mann struck a well-paced 65 (47b) to fashion RCB's consolation win in their last league match against SRH. DH Photo/ Ranju P

Royal Challengers Bangalore's Gurkeerat Singh had received just two chances in the 12th edition of the IPL before their final game against Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Saturday. 

The right-handed batsman, who walked with his team in a spot of bother at 20/3, fashioned RCB's successful chase of 176 with a fine 65-run knock. Gurkeerat's partnership with Shimron Hetmyer (75) saw RCB wrap up their campaign with a consolation win. 

The 28-year-old Punjab batsman said despite not being a regular in the side, he was never under pressure. "I didn't face any pressure. I just wanted to deliver for my team. It's about making the opportunities count. Before this season, I played in IPL two years ago. So I just wanted to give my best. I didn't ask the reasons for my exclusion because this game is about combinations. I didn't ask anything, to be honest," Gurkeerat said at the post-match press conference. 

The striking feature of the duo's partnership was the dominance against Rashid Khan, Sunrisers' strike bowler. "That was the plan. I had to anchor the innings and let Hety (Shimron Hetmyer) play his natural game. That’s what we were focusing on. I told myself that whenever I would get a loose ball, I will try to hit a boundary but I will not take many risks so that CDG (Colin de Grandhomme) could come in the end to take them down. Fortunately, we had a good partnership that lasted long," he explained.

RCB's chase, for a change, didn't depend on Kohli or De Villiers. Gurkeerat said getting many overs to bat helped him succeed. "Usually, what happens to the middle-order batsmen is, you go out and have to hit big in the last three-four overs when you get the strike. I was fortunate that I went into bat in the third or fourth over. So I had a lot of time in my hands," he said. 

Meanwhile Sunrisers' opener Martin Guptill said his team produced an under-par show. "From the start we had, we should have definitely scored more, so it’s frustrating. This season, we have played some really good cricket in patches and there have been patches in other games where we quite haven’t been on par. Unfortunately for us, that has left us now relying on other results now," Guptill said. 

The Kiwi batsman defended Rashid Khan's average season, saying every bowler undergoes such phases. "It is T20 cricket and there are going to be times where we are going to go over 10 runs an over. Look (Rashid), he has bowled well for us during the tournament. While he hasn’t picked up as many wickets as he probably would have liked, he has actually still gone mostly under seven runs an over," he said. 

 

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