Hyderabad: Gujarat Lions coach Brad Hodge on Sunday said they always knew that young leg-spinner Rashid Khan would prove to be threat and blamed his batsmen for not putting enough total against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Rashid, the teenaged leg-spinner from Afghanistan who is the first-ever player from the war-torn country to make his debut in IPL, claimed three crucial wickets as Hyderabad restricted Gujarat to 135-7.
"It (batting) wasn't good. I think batting second on this particular wicket is more suitable. We could not impose a good total," Hodge told reporters after his team lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad by nine wickets.
"We lost three quick wickets to Rashid early in the fifth, sixth and seventh over and that put us on the backfoot.
"He is a good bowler. We identified that before the game. We knew that he is going to be a threat. We just lost three consecutive wickets back to back. All pretty good players."
Hodge said they would analyse their game to put their IPL campaign back on track.
"I think we need to analyse a few areas of our game. We need to improve. Last year was a great season. It's going to take some hard work to repeat that. We are still searching for answers," he said.
"I guess it's really early in the tournament. Have to look at those particular areas and I guess then selection criteria will come into play," he added.
Hodge hoped that Gujarat's seasoned all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who is down with an injury, would be back soon to bolster the team.
"He is a player you cannot actually replace," Hodge said.
He also appreciated Tejas Baroka, who played only Under-22 and Under-19 for Delhi before debuting for Gujarat Lions in the match today.
"He showed courage, coming out in fourth over and bowling to David Warner at power play as a young leg spinner, it is pretty challenging, he did a good job, he got good skill, good control," Hodge said.
Meanwhile, SRH's Bipul Sharma expressed happiness over his team's performance.
"I think the team really did well. Rashid is really bowling well for us. He just played his game and he bowled really well, I think," he said.
"I think the wicket is little bit slow, it helps spinners. So we decided to go with spinners.
"I think we are doing right things. We have to keep doing what we are doing. It's a long tournament. We have to keep doing what we are doing," Sharma said.