A lot of people were surprised when the Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya decided to bat first after winning the toss in the last night’s IPL game against Punjab Kings. Generally in this year’s IPL, whenever a captain wins the toss, he decides to field first because of the possibility of the dew arriving later.
It’s not that the teams batting first have not won games. There have been plenty of games where the teams batting first have ended on the winning side, but they have done so either by overcoming the dew factor or they have been lucky enough that the dew hasn’t arrived at all on days they have bowled second.
But, dew is always something which is in the mind of the captains when they go out there for the toss and it’s the main reason why whenever a captain wins the toss, he decides to bowl first most of the time.
Hardik Pandya knew that dew could be a match-defining factor
Hardik Pandya also knew yesterday that dew might become one of the game-defining factors in the latter parts of the game, but he still decided to bat first and he revealed in his post-match interview that he did so because he wanted to put his team out of their comfort zone.
Gujarat Titans, before the game against Punjab Kings, had already won 8 out of their 9 games and they have almost qualified to the playoffs, even though it hasn’t been confirmed mathematically yet. So, they can afford to take risks and experiment with a few things, even if it comes at the cost of a few losses.
What Hardik Pandya basically wanted to see last night was how his team would respond to the challenge of defending a total under dewy conditions. While Gujarat Titans bowled decently despite the dew, Punjab Kings chased down the modest target of 144 in just 16 overs.