Although Steve Smith contributed a handy 19 not-out off 11 balls, it was a gentle push of the ball to extra cover for a couple of runs off Sunil Narine that will be cherished. It was the shot that got Rajasthan Royals home in a thrilling Super Over finish against Kolkata Knight Riders.
After sealing the incredible win, Smith relived the drama in a chat with iplt20.com. Here are excerpts from that chat:
Reaction to that game?
It was an exciting game and it is just great to be at the right end of it.
With what mindset did you go in to bat in the Super Over?
I tried to keep my mind as clear as possible. I was certain of one thing – I will only hit the ball if it is in my area, otherwise, I’ll just run a couple and that’s it. I had decided that no matter what happens, I will not force a big shot where it is not there. I just got a double and a single and gave the strike to Watto, who I knew will surely launch one, as he did. He got one boundary away and that really set the over up. An all-Aussie show that – Faulkner’s over included?
Oh, yes! It was nice to be batting in the Super Over with Watto. The way we fought back with the ball was outstanding. Faulkner bowled beautifully; three wickets in an over changed the game completely. He is pretty excited. Hopefully, the form continues in India and we can win a few more.
What was the turning point of the match – the Faulkner over or you running Piyush Chawla out in the final over?
I think that over from Faulkner turned the match in our favour. Until then, the game was pretty much in the balance, and in fact, they were probably in front. With three wickets falling in one over, it got really tough for the new batsmen to have a go straight away. Credit to James for the way he handled himself in that situation and got us back into the game.
What is more important in such situations – calm nerves or excellent skills?
It depends on what you’re trying to do. If you decide to so something funky, like a lap shot or any other outrageous shot, you need things to go your way a bit. On the other hand, if you are sure you’ll only execute the skills that you know, you tend to remain calmer.
Did you grow in confidence when you saw a KKR spinner coming on to bowl?
I will not say confident because Sunil Narine is a very guileful bowler and he has improved so much by playing in the IPL. He is very hard to go away, but at that time, we had to try. Watto got one over and it proved crucial in the end.