Openers got DC through: Botha

All-rounder says RR will look to finish the competition on a high note

By Akshay Manwani
Hyderabad 19 May 2012
The Rajasthan Royals looked a disappointed lot after their game against Deccan Chargers. Needing a win to keep their playoff chances alive, the Royals crashed to a five-wicket win against the hosts. It was the batting that let the Royals down as they could manage only 126 runs on a wicket where just over a week ago David Warner of the Delhi Daredevils had scored an unbeaten 109. caught up with RR all-rounder, Johan Botha, for a quick chat to gauge the mood in the RR camp following the defeat and the positives for the Rajasthan franchise in IPL 2012.

You must be disappointed with the result because you were in a position to qualify for the playoffs?

Yes, it’s obviously disappointing. We came here with high hopes, the guys prepared well, but sometimes it just doesn’t go for you on the day. Unfortunately, that does it for us for IPL 5.

What went wrong with your batting today, because their openers seemed to be doing well on the same wicket?

I think they bowled pretty well. In the first six overs, we didn’t find the gaps, which happens. Our top order – Rahul [Dravid], Watto [Shane Watson] and Jinks [Ajinkya Rahane] – have played brilliantly throughout the tournament. It was just one of those days where they hit a few shots but couldn’t find the gaps.

Did the wicket change much in the second innings?

I don’t think so. It probably got a bit quicker, if anything. The ball looked to skid on a little bit more at the end. Like you said, their first six overs [while batting] probably got them through.

Can you tell us some of the positives for RR from this tournament?

I think, just top of my head, our opening partnerships have been brilliant. Rahul and Jinks have given us great starts all the way through. Our bowling unit – we still haven’t lost a game when we got more than 160. That’s credit to the guys. I still think that we’ve got the best team spirit in the tournament and that’s what takes us through tight games. Unfortunately, tonight was just not our game.

Talking about your own form – you had a decent run with your bowling, but could you have done better with the bat.

I think batting-wise, it’s always about the chances you get. A few balls at the end of the innings, is not a fair reflection on averages and strike-rates. But bowling-wise, I’ve been pretty happy with the last seven or eight matches. The first two or three [matches] probably didn’t start the way I wanted to, but I’ve been happy with the way I’ve bowled in the second half of the tournament.

You play your last game at home against the Mumbai Indians. Surely, RR will want to finish on a high?

Always. That’s what we stand for as a team. We are proud of our performances. We certainly are not going to give Mumbai an easy win. We want to finish with eight wins in this tournament and go out on a high.
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