Pant scored even off good deliveries: Sandeep

Pant scored even off good deliveries: Sandeep

Sunrisers Hydrabad bowler Sandeep Sharma (left) escaped punishment at the hands of Rishabh Pant during their match against Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday. PTI

Rishabh Pant tore into the reputed Sunrisers Hyderabad attack during his unbeaten 128 off 63 balls but Sandeep Sharma insisted bowlers did not bowl badly.

Compared to his colleague, Sandeep finished with a better economy rate of 6 runs an over but wholeheartedly praised Pant for his blitzkrieg. “Rishabh Pant played really well. He hit all our experienced bowlers -- Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul. He even scored runs on good deliveries. But the bowlers still performed well as we restricted DD below 200 in spite of Pant’s unbeaten 128,” Sandeep said after his team’s nine-wicket victory over Daredevils.

Asked what was their strategy against Pant, Sandeep said: "Our plan was to bowl wide outside the off-stump because he generally hits well straight down the ground. However, he came up with strokes like the reverse scoop to negate that. Those kinds of shots do not work always all the time, but it did for him today. It was his day.

“There hasn’t been any help in the wicket especially the movement and swing. So it is tough. But we have to improve and take wickets with the new ball.”

The medium-pacer insisted Hyderabad, who became the the first team to qualify for play-offs, still have scope for improvement. “We need to have plans for players like him. How to get a player like him off-strike or how to minimise the damage that he does. So we’ll discuss that in the remaining matches,” he said.

Daredevils' bowling coach James Hopes expressed concern over the bowlers’ performance. “I told the bowlers to not get too predictable, not to get stuck doing one plan. The bowlers tried but it didn’t work. I am really concerned that we lack some penetration, we are not taking wickets,” Hopes said.

“Our bowling resources have been depleted from the start. We didn’t have (Kagiso) Rabada here, he was one of our main guys. (Chris) Morris is now home with a back injury. He was meant to be our other 145 kmph bowler,” said Hopes, who however praised Trent Boult, Delhi’s leading wicket-taker this season.

Hopes said Daredevils might try new faces in the remaining three matches. “We need to see the big picture. What does it look like going forward and what our roster looks like for next year. These next three are a good opportunity to possibly see some of these guys, especially Junior (Dala) because he is a little bit different.”