Rajasthan Royals batsman says Shakib’s bowling put his side under pressure
By Akshay Manwani
Kolkata 14 April 2012
After winning their first two games of DLF IPL 2012, the Rajasthan Royals have now lost two straights matches. Their latest defeat came against the Kolkata Knight Riders in a low-scoring tie played between the two sides on Friday at the Eden Gardens.
Having gotten off to a good start with openers Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane knocking off 45 runs in the first six overs, the Royals lost three quick wickets to slide to 58 for three by the end of the 10th over. KKR never ceded the advantage thereafter, and their bowlers restricted the visitors to a mere 131 runs. After that, their batsmen brought up a five-wicket win for the home side.
RR’s middle-order batsman Brad Hodge spoke on the game in an exclusive interview with iplt20.com:
Brad tough luck today. 131 was always going to be insufficient.
Probably 140 would have been better. This is a pretty average wicket, but [we were] probably ten runs short. Couple of wickets in the middle and you never know.
Is it fair to say that Shakib Al Hasan’s performance was the difference between the two sides?
Yes. It stopped our momentum in the middle. He got two wickets back-to-back. Whenever you lose back-to-back wickets that hurts. I wouldn’t say it was the difference, but it certainly put pressure on us.
Are you happy with your position at No. 6 in the line-up with the amount of experience your team has?
I just do my job. I just get told what to do and I just do it the best that I can. So far, I have batted at 4, 5 and 6. I just want to contribute to the team, help out Rahul [Dravid] and the team wherever I can. We just have to wait and see what’s in store. Two wins to start the tournament and now two consecutive losses for the Royals. Will it be tough to bounce back in your next game also being played away in Bengaluru?
Yes, it’s a tough turnaround. Road trips were always going to be hard; Mumbai, here and then Bengaluru – that’s three tough matches. If we had got one or two wins out of that, we would have been right in the mix. We need to regroup, get to Bengaluru and put up a really good performance. Generally, it’s a good wicket there and so it should be a good, close contest. You started your IPL career with KKR, then you went to Kochi Tuskers Kerala, and now, here you are playing for Rajasthan. How would you describe your IPL journey so far?
The most enjoyable as a batsman so far were Kochi and Rajasthan. Both were at par. As a batsman, you don’t want to bat on this wicket [Eden Gardens] everyday of the week. Rajasthan, I’ve really enjoyed since I’ve been here. I’m liking what I see, it’s a good atmosphere and a really competitive side. I fit right into the team quite nicely. Enjoyable experience all round.