Rajasthan Royals (RR) opener Jos Buttler owned up responsibility for the team's successive failures in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, saying the top-order, including himself as well as skipper Steve Smith, haven't been firing up to the levels expected of them.
The 57-run defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians (MI) on Tuesday (October 6) in Abu Dhabi was RR's third consecutive one in the tournament and Buttler, who although made a fine half-century on the day, believes they've been leaving too much ground to recover after poor showing in the powerplay.
"We have not managed to come off as a top-order in the last three games. We have lost three wickets in the power-play a few times and in T20 cricket you never win too many games from that position," Buttler said at the post-match press conference, as quoted by PTI.
"Of course, the powerplay is a time you have to take advantage due to the field restrictions, but as players, we have not performed but that can happen in T20 cricket," added the 30-year-old who made a 44-ball 70 as RR finished with just 136 all out in response to MI's 193/4.
Apart from Buttler, only one other batsman in the RR camp, Jofra Archer (24), went past the 20-run mark in the second half.
"We lost wickets. Mumbai bowled really well and we never got into our innings. As a batsman, you are always vulnerable early on in your innings and as a top order, we didn't manage to counteract the opening bowling well enough to get through that period," he said.
Buttler acknowledged the efforts of opposition batter Suryakumar Yadav (79), whose fantastic knock had taken MI to such a huge total in the first innings.
"He (Suryakumar) played a fantastic innings. We could not quite tie (him) down. He used the angles and his crease really well and he is a fantastic player. We could not execute our plans to him but full credit to him. He played a very good innings," he said.
While disappointed with the outcome of the match, Buttler felt personally pleased to have found his timing back and said he'll look to carry the momentum forward.
"I have not been feeling my best in the middle," he said. "It was good for me to spend time in the middle, find a bit of fluency further on in the innings. I struggled initially, but hopefully, I can take some confidence from today and use that for the rest of the tournament."
The wicketkeeper batsman also had some words of encouragement for RR's young pacer Kartik Tyagi (1/36), who delivered a decent spell on his IPL debut.
"He is a really exciting talent. One thing the IPL always does is unearth fantastic Indian players and he impressed in the nets and worked hard to get his opportunity to make his debut"
"It was a great moment for him and everyone in the team when he picked up his first wicket," Buttler signed off.
RR next face Delhi Capitals (DC) on Friday (October 9) in Sharjah.