IPL 2013 March 30, 2013

Dravid happy to have Watson at the start

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rahul Dravid has said Rajasthan Royals will be bolstered by the presence of Shane Watson, who is expected to join the team in time for the side's second game against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 8.

"Watson brings a lot of quality to the team," Dravid told the Times of India. "Last year, we missed him for the first eight or nine games. This time, we are lucky that way. If we can play to our potential, we should be able to do pretty well." He also added that Watson may be promoted to open the innings with Ajinkya Rahane.

Rajasthan had a poor campaign last year, finishing seventh in the points table. Royals coach Paddy Upton was upbeat about the prospects of the squad in the IPL this season. "It is essential to work out a fine balance between team and individual performance," Upton told the Hindu. "Our focus is to play at our level best and deliver top performances throughout the season. We as a team provide space to our players to take their own decisions, judge their performance, and together we all help each other to execute these decisions on field. We try to not only improve the sporting skills in our players, but also help and groom their overall personality."

Rajasthan Royals' fast bowler Shaun Tait, who played in six games last season, picking up six wickets at 25.16, alluded to where they had gone wrong, "We were not up to the mark in the death overs during the previous season. I enjoy bowling at the death but plans work out at times, and some times they don't. I would again enjoy bowling at death.

"We hope for a top-four finish this time. We have worked on a few grey areas like death bowling and have few more options in attack. The likes of James Faulkner would lend us more bowling strength. We have a good relationship and we mix it up well and help each other."

Tait, who possesses plenty of pace but sometimes loses accuracy as a result, acknowledged that he is working on the issue. "I know I was erratic at times, but I have worked on this. My foot was popping out of the bowling crease, but recently I had improved in the Big Bash and Bangladesh Premier league. I plan to bowl a lot straighter and keep things simple."

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  • Gaurav on April 1, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    watson is gonna be a BIG PAIN for oppositions

  • grace on April 1, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    The opening combo will depend on the pitch and opposition attack. If it's coming on, then Watto and Rahane, else Dravid and probably Hodge. Faulkner is a good death overs bowler. I think he should play most games along side Watson, Tait and Hodge as the foreign picks. Halla Bol!

  • Pad on April 1, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    The surprise package for RR is Kushal Perera!! This young dynamite from Sri Lanka will show his presence with a stamp of authority. He sent the Aussie bowlers to cleaners in Australia and then the Bangladeshis in SL. Watch-out future!!!

  • Satish Chandar on April 1, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    Rahane, Watson, Dravid, Hodge/Owais, Menaria/Binny/Sachin Baby(Baby can be a trumpcard), Cooper, Yagnik?Goswami, Tait/Faulkner/Edwards/Badree, Sreesanth, Harmeet, Trivedi/Pankaj/Chandila.. The number options are clearly good.. They can make it big if the key members perform well.. Rahane, Watson, Sreesanth, Cooper, Harmeet all can do it, it will be great season for them ahead.. Good luck RR..

  • shehan on April 1, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    TOP 11// 1)Kusal Perera, 2)Shane Watson, 3)Ajinkya Rahane, 4)Rahul Dravid, 5)Brad Hodge, 6)Ashok Menaria, 7)Shreevats Goswami,8)Ajit Chandila, 9)Sreesanth, 10)Shaun Tait, 11)Siddharth Trivedi

  • Dummy4 on March 31, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    Rahane and Rahul---------->Best Opening Pair For RR

  • Satish on March 31, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    This was my best team since ipl 1 and back then it was all because of WARNIE but eventually I grew to like the team as a whole cause truth be told its the only team in the entire league rest are just a group 3 or 4 great players who must perform or they are doomed.The whole RRL team has to chip in to get victories and 2nd best record at home in all ipls just shows this.5 years ago I told that this team will win the 1st ever ipl they called me crazy(they did). I say they will win ipl6 call me what ever you want! Faulkner is the dark horse whose all round ability will be noticed by the world now.Ashes prospect for sure. Watto will finally bowl enough said.

  • John on March 31, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    What are the odds that Watson will go down injured while playing in the IPL?

  • HABEEBU RAHIMAN on March 31, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Watch Sachin Baby.... I m sure he is going to be the Rabindra Jadeja or Yusuf Pathan of this season for RR

  • Dummy4 on March 31, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    dravid always likes to have an allrounder .....i remember those days when he used Irfan pathan as a proper batsman and at time made him bat in top 3 just like S watson does !

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