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Rajasthan Royals’ all-rounder says his team will be looking to carry forth their momentum
By IPL Staff
Jaipur 23 April 2012
After losing to the Chennai Super Kings in a last-ball finish at Chepauk the Rajasthan Royals return to their fortress to take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Holding a place in the top half of the IPL 2012 table, the hosts are yet to lose a game at home, and they will be keen to get back to their winning ways. Meanwhile, the visitors come into the match after beating Kings XI Punjab in their own backyard.
The home team returned to Jaipur earlier today, and had an optional practice session at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium during which the youngsters in the side practiced enthusiastically at the nets.
Ahead of their match, RR’s Staurt Binny spoke to the media about his team and their opponents, RCB.
Excerpts from the press-conference:
On the advice he received while bowling the last ball against the Chennai Super Kings
We did not discuss it much. We had gone through it before with my strengths and what I could bowl in that situation. I am a bowler, who will normally bowl in the middle, but last night was something a bit different [for] me. But I struck to my strengths, and the decision that we made was, to try and push the over till the end and not try to give a boundary early on.
On whether the team composition was not right against CSK
No, I don’t think so. I think it was a [good] combination that we had; [good] enough on that wicket that seemed to be not too much in favour of quick bowlers or spinners, because it didn’t do much. The wicket played a bit slow, so I think the combination was good.
On whether RR’s batting is heavily dependent on Ajinkya Rahane and Owais Shah
I wouldn’t say we are heavily dependant on them, but they are the guys, who are getting us the runs at the moment and players like [Brad] Hodge haven’t been a huge hit as of now. Our batting is really strong in the middle. Even in a game like yesterday, a player like Hodge only came in towards the end. So that shows that our batting is pretty strong up the order. And with guys like Owais and Hodge in the middle, we can really push the batting, especially if we get off to a decent start. [Even if] we lose two wickets in the 12th over, we have lot of batting that can push us to 180-190 runs.
On why the team has not been able to enjoy the kind of success in away games that they have in home games every season
I don’t think there is any pressure about playing outside, but I guess it just happens that way it does. [....] We haven’t lost badly outside; they have been close games. So there isn’t anything like of fear of playing away. We just have to get better [used to] the conditions. It’s a lot different than Jaipur and the quicker we do that [adjust to away conditions], we will start winning outside. On whether their earlier win against RCB give them a psychological advantage and whether the mood in the team is tense after yesterday’s defeat
Since we have beaten them [RCB] already in Bangalore, it’s a huge thing to beat a team away. I think at the moment, everyone is pretty relaxed. Some of the guys are practicing. The mood in the team is good. The main thing for us is to concentrate on tomorrow’s game and look to win. It is very crucial that we keep on winning. The losses have happened in a close game, so I don’t think we are affected by it. We are just going to go out there and win tomorrow.
On whether they have a strategy for Chris Gayle
Yes, we have spoken about strategies, but I can’t discuss them here. [...]
Excerpts from Vettori’s pre-match media interaction: On whether there are any special plans for RR after losing to them at home
No special plans. Since that game, we have had two wins, so the confidence has improved a lot. We come here on a wicket that looks really good. So we when you play on those really good wickets, you try and stick to the simple things and make sure that you can repeat them over and over again, because that is generally what wins you games.
On the possibility of Tillakaratne Dilshan playing in the match
Yes, there is a chance. We haven’t picked the team yet.
On whether Virat Kohli’s form is a cause for concern Virat played very well in Chennai, and we are very new into the season. Virat’s one of the best players in the world, so he is going to come good and win us a couple of games before this tournament is over.
On RCB’s bowling being an area of worry since they have been conceding runs in the final overs
It is always difficult in the end [in the death overs], and sometimes with young bowlers, it is tough. But we have got to look at the overall performance; we restricted a good team [Kings XI Punjab] on a good wicket to 160 [odd runs], so it is a pleasing thing. Zaheer Khan is back to his best, opening the bowling. And he looks fit, and he is really doing a great job for us. There have been some good performances in the middle overs, but it is just about tiding up a little bit at the death, which is the same for most teams. It is the toughest time [phase] to bowl [in a match], so it is not always easy. On team combination and overseas players, and whether Muthiah Muralitharan will find a place in the team tomorrow
I suppose the hardest thing about IPL is fitting in the overseas players in the team. [...] and Murali is part of it. Every time we have a selection meeting, we try and find a way to put him in. But at this stage, we are looking at three overseas batsmen, and that’s a combination of Chris [Gayle] and AB [de Villiers] and Andrew McDonald and T Dilshan. So that’s probably where we will look.
On Cheteshwar Pujara not playing
He is injured. He has hurt his hand. Hopefully, he will be back soon. [...] He will train today, and then, we can take a call on his availability.
On the batting relying heavily on Chris Gayle
It is good to have a person, the quality of Chris, who is one of the best T20 players in the world. But we won our first game against Delhi [Daredevils] without him. And there have been some nice complementary performances from [AB] de Villiers and [Saurabh] Tiwary in the last couple of games. We like the fact that Chris plays so well and so consistently, but if it [Gayle’s batting] doesn’t work one day, we are surely ready for that as well.