Virat neutralised after double-blow: Richardson

RR pacer says he was lucky to dismiss Yuvraj and de Villiers off successive balls

Abu Dhabi 26 April 2014
When Kane Richardson removed Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers off successive deliveries to leave Royal Challengers Bangalore at five for four after 2.2 overs, he pretty much sealed the fate of the match in Rajasthan Royals’ favour.

After his performance of two for 18 in four overs, Richardson must consider changing the bio on his Twitter profile, which currently says, “I am not Kane Williamson”, for no one will now mistake the bearded Aussie pacer for the diminutive Kiwi batsman.

Post RR’s comfortable six-wicket win over RCB, Richardson spoke with about the brilliant day his team had on the field.

Here are excerpts of that interview:

Did something get into the RR bowlers or the RCB batsmen today?

That’s a good question. It’s just one of those days in T20 when things go your way and it snowballs from there. To get two wickets in the first over with one run-out was a bonus. There were some poor shots from them, I will be the first one to admit that, but we are not going to complain about that. When you are chasing 71, you expect to win the game, going four down and winning it, we are happy.

Not many convincing shots were played off the bat. Was the wicket that difficult to bat on?

I think it was a bit slow, but over here you kind of expect that. In the game between CSK and KXIP, both team scored 200-plus. Today, it was much different, but still the new ball came on to the bat pretty well as it showed when we batted. For RCB, after being four down, it was hard to come back into the game.

Is bowling back-of-a-length without giving much pace the wide bowling plan?

It was definitely the case in the last match, against CSK. I didn’t play, but the boys seemed to apply that strategy quite well. We continued with that plan in this game as well and it is definitely a strength of ours. But we also have to keep adapting to the batsmen we bowl at. At the moment, it is working pretty well for us.

The ball that got Yuvraj was only 130 kph. Did you expect that one to go to the slips so quickly?

I didn’t bowl quickly today and just let the pitch do its bit. There was also a touch of swing in the wicket and it worked in my favour. Yuvraj was a big wicket, along with AB (de Villiers), and formed the big three in the middle order with Virat. To get Yuvraj and AB in quick succession was a huge blow because it left Virat with a bit too much to do.

And you surely didn’t expect AB de Villiers to hit that shot, did you?

I didn’t. I was just trying to hit the stumps, but failed to do so. Luckily, he chopped it on. That’s cricket.

Do you think it has been advantageous for you to have an Australian captain with this team?

Definitely. The communication barrier drops down. Having said that, Shane is new to the job as well, but he has adapted quickly. I am new in the Royals camp, but he has taken me on board and given me confidence.

As a pacer, are you missing someone like an Allan Donald by your side this year?

I do and he was an amazing influence last year with the Pune franchise. But here, the good thing is that I am pretty much on my own. I have to learn and think for myself. If I can start doing that at 23, it should help me in the long run.
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