Pune Warriors' stand-in captain Aaron Finch today blamed his batsmen and bowlers for the crushing 130-run defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here.
"I don't think it is just the bowling, it is also our batting that let us down a couple of times. We tried to chase 120 and 126 in previous games which we should have won. It is just disappointing to be in the position we are. But I think we played a lot better cricket than where we sit on the table," he told reporters at post-match press conference here.
Asked what advise he had for his bowlers when Chris Gayle was firing on all cylinders, Finch said, "Wow. It was quite hard. The wicket was good. He was just going on fire. Everything he did was right," he said.
The visiting captain said Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled the first over beautifully and thought that really set the tone for Pune Warriors.
Asked if there was any one bowler who might have stopped Gayle, Finch said nothing worked against the Jamaican.
"Even Luke Wright was exceptional under the circumstances, but unfortunately this is the way it is. We just have to try and mix and match. Get an over cheaply somewhere. He (Gayle) was riding six at one point, especially of my bowling, it is just one of those days," he said.
Replying to a question, Finch said he promoted Yuvraj Singh at Number 3 because the left-hander is as destructive as Gayle at top of the order.
"When you chase a target like 260 it is necessary that your top-order fires. If Yuvraj comes off he can play just as good innings as Chris played. You can't leave those to the end. You have to take advantage of the new ball and unfortunately it didn't happen," he added.
Finch said Pune tried a lot of things with the ball but Gayle took the game away from them.
"It was just a case of one guy who was simply too good for the day. He was phenomenon. He is a phenomenal player. There is not real place where we wanted to bowl him. Just tried to limit the damage, but that did not happen," he said.
Asked why Yuvraj was not used as a bowler, Finch said, "There was a frontline spinner (Ali Murtaza) and he was quite expensive. I tried an over myself. But I really think it didn’t matter whom we bowled to be honest, I dont know, honestly don’t know."
On batsmen dominating bowlers in the second phase of this IPL, Finch said this turnaround is due to the wickets getting older.