IPL 2017: Team which will raise the level during the Play-offs, will win title, says ousted RCB's Travis Head

"All the top four teams in contention have good batsmen and bowlers. It is going to be tough, the playoffs and the finals. They are all aggressive sides boasting match-winning players. They are coming out to blast their way. So, whoever steps up their game in the Play-offs and finals will lift the trophy this year," Head said.

PTI| Updated: May 07, 2017, 23:56 PM IST
IPL 2017: Team which will raise the level during the Play-offs, will win title, says ousted RCB's Travis Head
IANS

Bengaluru: All the four top teams in the points-table are aggressive and whichever team raises the game during the Play-offs will be a serious contender for the title, said ousted RCB's Travis Head.

"All the top four teams in contention have good batsmen and bowlers. It is going to be tough, the playoffs and the finals. They are all aggressive sides boasting match-winning players. They are coming out to blast their way. So, whoever steps up their game in the Play-offs and finals will lift the trophy this year," Head said.

Returning from an injury, Australia's Chris Lynn smashed his way to a fiery 50 in KKR's impressive win today and Head was all praise for his compatriot.

"He is unbelievable hitter of the ball. He had done that in the Big Bash for couple of years. Probably, he is one of the better hitters in IPL competition," he said.

Lynn shared a 105-run first-wicket partnership with Sunil Narine, who made 54 runs in 17 balls.

Replying to a query, Head said after losing three quick wickets, the strategy was to build a partnership with the wicket getting slower because of the ball going soft, and up the ante in death overs, which they did.

Replying to yet another query, Head said KKR openers put the pressure back on RCB by taking advantage of the hard ball, which makes stroke-making easy for batsmen.

"We got 158 runs on the board and it was on us to take advantage of it, but they put us out of the contest by getting 105 runs in six or seven overs," he said.

"It was disappointing tonight, for we lost the match even after setting 158 runs, a challenging total. Even more disappointing was the team did get any momentum throughout the tournament," he said.

KKR's Piyush Chawla also very impressed with Lynn.

"Well to be honest, I have never seen anybody else hitting as hard as Lynn. I think Lynny and Sunil, the way they batted, they took the game away from RCB in the first six overs itself," he said.

Asked if it was a risk to ask Lynn to open after a month's gap, Chawla said he had enough time to get back into rhythm, for he had been batting in the nets for the last 10 days, before a chance to play today.

Is it an added pressure on an allrounder like Narine to open the innings, Chawla said it depends on the role assigned to each player, in which case Narine's role is to go out and play his natural aggressive game.

What did KKR openers do differently as most of the sides have struggled to get runs on this deck, Chawla said, "The best part about their batting was that were playing only cricketing shots. If you see the whole six overs, they didn't play any cross-batted shots or anything. They were just playing on the merit of the ball and were looking to clear the infield."

Replying to a query, Chawla said the team did not have any plan to get runs quickly, but the openers went about playing their natural game of aggression.

On Robin Uthappa's fitness update, Chawla said he is looking fit and hopefully be available for next game.