After tasting their first defeat at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Gujarat Lions Head coach Brad Hodge says that the massive 10-wicket loss has provided them with an opportunity to introspect and learn.
In a one-sided clash on Thursday evening, openers David Warner (74) and Shikhar Dhawan (53) shared a huge 137-run partnership as Sunrisers chased down the target of 136 runs with 31 balls to spare against Gujarat Lions here at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
"We have had a great start to the tournament; we won our first three games, but lost today. There are so many good teams in the competition and you are bound to lose one along the way. Yes, we got fairly comprehensively beaten tonight but it is great because there are a few learning curves for us along the way. We have a great side, wonderful match-winners," Hodge said after the match.
The former Australian Test skipper, however, admitted his side failed to perform at their absolute best, insisting that they had also given away wickets easily.
"I don't think they applied themselves as best as they could have. Apart from the captain, who looked in a different class today, the rest of them struggled a bit or played a bit too flamboyantly at times, and we gave away wickets easily. That can happen in T20 cricket where you back yourself, and we can adjust that," he said.
While the wickets kept falling on the other end, Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina fought the lone battle by contributing significant 75 runs off 51 balls.
Lavishing praise over Raina, Hodge admitted the former has great knowledge about the game and that he stepped up really well as a captain.
"I think his strength is that he is a very calm human being. He has been under Dhoni for quite a while and he gets that relaxed persona on the field from him. He never gets too flustered, which is good for his troops out there. I think he has wonderful knowledge of the game. Of course, this is his first chance to captain in the IPL but he has led the UP team a number of times and has been around a number of good captains. He has certainly stepped up to this role and has come out of the shadows of those captains," insisted Hodge.
Gujrat Lions, who are currently second in league table with three wins in four games they played, will now play against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the same venue on Sunday.