According to Rahul, the six-day gap between the two games helped the players take their minds off the defeat and come back stronger.
“The last game was a bit of a downer and did hurt us as a team,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation. “But we had three or four days’ break after that, which was good. Everyone got some time off, got their minds off cricket, and just rested a bit. We came back fresher and we were always clear on how we wanted to bat.”
Stoinis was the biggest contributor with bat, scoring 72 off 40 balls. With ball, he got rid of Shikhar Dhawan in the first over of the chase. His Player-of-the-Match performance would have tasted even sweeter had he not hurt his finger while trying to make a stop in his follow-through.
It happened in Stoinis’ second over, when he tried to intercept an Atharva Taide shot and took a blow to his left index finger. Wincing in pain, Stoinis went down on his knees almost immediately and, after initial treatment by the physio, walked off the field.
“It’s been better but yeah, it is what it is,” Stoinis said after the game. “We will get a scan later.”
The Mohali pitch was quite in contrast to the slow Lucknow surface Super Giants played on against Titans. Talking about what he and Badoni were discussing during their stand of 89 in 47 balls for the third wicket, Stoinis said, “We were joking about the difference between that and our surface at home, and how we can cash in and take advantage of this beautiful batting wicket.
“No, I wasn’t [thinking about 250]. I don’t think Ayush was either. We were just trying to build a partnership. He got off to a flyer as well and was hitting some nice shots; he’s a very talented player. We were just trying to keep building on that and that was our only focus.”
It was the first time Stoinis was batting at No. 4 this IPL. Until now, he had batted either at No. 5 or 6. But he isn’t really fussed about batting higher up the order. And while he has five wickets from just 8.5 overs in the tournament, he felt his bowling was better suited to Lucknow’s slow tracks.
“I do enjoy the responsibility of batting a bit lower and seeing the game home as well,” he said. “Part of my journey has been batting in every position. Bowl the first over, bowl the last over, try to mix and match, I’m happy to do whatever my team needs.
“I was swinging a few in the nets the other day, so the bowling coach got a bit excited and thought maybe start me with the new ball. But probably our home wicket suits me a little bit more in terms of taking the pace off and being a bit more creative and using the wicket. No one loves bowling on flat ones.”