IPL 2013 April 2, 2013

Royals have received death-bowling boost - Dravid

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid has said the inclusion of bowlers like Fidel Edwards and James Faulkner in the squad has strengthened their bowling, specially in the death overs, improving Royals' chances in the IPL this year.

"[Last year] we were hampered by injuries to our main bowlers, Shaun Tait, Kevon Cooper and S Sreesanth," Dravid said. "Moreover, Shane Watson was not available for most of the matches and that meant that, at times, the responsibility of bowling death overs was shouldered by rather inexperienced bowlers.

"We had to pay the price for that but this time we are better equipped. In the auctions, we went for Fidel Edwards and James Faulkner under our backup plans. Edwards can generate good pace like Tait, and Faulkner has been doing well in this version of cricket."

Dravid was also happy with Sreesanth's fitness. "He has been bowling very well in the nets and practice matches," he said. "He is eager to prove himself."

While stressing that Watson's "presence alone was great for the team", Dravid said that the decision to bowl would rest with the Australian allrounder. "I feel at some point of time he will bowl but he will have to decide himself." Watson did not bowl during the recent Test series in India because of fitness issues.

Dravid also refrained from stating who would partner Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the innings, saying that the team would think about the options it has.