SRH, DD, IPL 2018, Sandeep Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson
SRH defeated DD by 9 wickets PTI

Despite becoming the first team to confirm their place in the playoffs of the ongoing 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Sunrisers Hyderabad pace bowler Sandeep Sharma has said that there is still a room for improvement going into another clash.

Yesterday, Rishabh Pant‘s blistering knock went in vain as Sunrisers Hyderabad thrashed Delhi Daredevils by nine wickets in their IPL clash at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in the national capital to book their spot in playoffs.

Following the win, Sandeep insisted that though they were performing well, they still needed to work on every department to improve their chances of making it to the finals.

“There is no team or player who is perfect. There are a lot of things that we need to improve like fielding, game awareness, even batting or bowling can be further improved. It doesn’t matter how well you are doing, there is still room for improvement. Going forward, we need to have plans for a player like Rishabh, who is playing really well on a given day. We need to figure out how to reduce the damage he does. So we’ll discuss that in the remaining matches,” Sandeep said in a post-match conference.

Opting to bat first, Pant smashed a brilliant knock of 128 runs off 63 balls as Delhi went on to post a score of 187-5 in their stipulated 20 overs.

Hyderabad’s bowling has been good in the season so far, having helped the side defend scores of 146, 151, 132 and 118. But, they were put to test at the Kotla as 67 runs were leaked in the final four overs of the innings.

Sunrisers Hyderabad, however, later went on to win the match, thanks to brilliant batting performance by Shikhar Dhawan (92) and Kane Williamson (83) with seven balls to spare.

Though Sandeep heaped praises on Pant for his impressive batting performance, he refused to admit that his side’s bowlers performed badly.

“I don’t think we bowled badly. We have performed well throughout the tournament. However, Rishabh Pant batted well today. He even scored runs on good deliveries. But our bowlers performed well today as well. One batsman scored 128 but still the team managed to restrict them under 128,” he said.

Shakib Al Hasan (two off 27) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (one off 51) were the only two bowlers to have managed to add some wickets to their tally.

Reflecting on their plan against Pant, the 24-year-old said revealed that they had decided to bowl him outside the off-stump, but he managed to notch runs even on those deliveries.

“Our plan was to bowl wide outside the off-stump as 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,” he said.

Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have won nine out of 11 games they have played so far, will now play an inconsequential match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on May 13.