Mumbai: All-rounder Cameron White, who led the Deccan Chargers in their IPL game against Mumbai Indians, said it was unselfish of regular skipper Kumar Sangakkara to drop himself from the playing eleven and hand over the leadership to him.
“Darren Lehmann (team coach) and Kumar were discussing and decided the best team for this wicket. The team we played tonight was what Darren and Kumar decided to go in with. It was a very selfless thing for Kumar to do, to pick that team,” said White at the post-match media conference.
Conceding that it was not regular of a captain to leave himself out of the eleven, White said the Chargers were outplayed by the home team which bowled them out for 100 and reached the target for the loss of five wickets.
“No doubt Kumar is a class player, but that’s what Darren and Kumar decided tonight. It was unusual to change the captain, isn’t it? That’s the way it happened. Unfortunately we were not good enough tonight. And Mumbai were too good tonight,” the Australian said.
While agreeing the track prepared for the game at the Wankhede Stadium may not have been ideal for the shortest format, White said both the teams had to play on the same wicket.
“It had a little bit of grass and a little bit of moisture. Wicket is changing here from time to time said Harbhajan at the end of the press conference there (prize distribution). What I understand is that there is a different wicket every time (here). Probably not an ideal Twenty20 wicket, but both teams had to play on it.”
White felt his team, which remained at the bottom of the table with just three points from eight games, fell short by at least 20 runs to make a match of it.
“The basic turning point is we were not able to score 20 more runs. Unfortunately we failed to bat out our overs. At the end of the day we are not going to win too many T20 games when we score 101,” said the stand-in skipper.
White was all praise for his team’s pace spearhead Dale Steyn for the wonderful exhibition of swing bowling that he unleashed to beat Mumbai Indians no. 3 Rohit Sharma repeatedly in front of the capacity crowd.
“It was unbelievable, wasn’t it? It must have been fantastic to sit on the sidelines (and watch it) like you guys did sitting in the press box. It was really fast, swing and accuracy as well against Rohit Sharma who I think is one of the best players — I find it very hard to believe he is not playing for India in all formats of the game.
“It showed the class of Dale to get the ball to go past his outside edge regularly tonight and it was a great contest between those two for a while. Dale’s record in all formats of International cricket speaks for itself.”
Asked whether Steyn and Juan Theron, another South African who bowled very well against Pune Warriors, could have made a difference in tandem, White said his team did not have the luxury to play both in the eleven.
“The way our team is we need to play three overseas batsmen. It’s not ideal to play both Steyn and Theron together. We don’t have the luxury of doing it because our local batters are not that strong,” he said.