Punjab v Rajasthan, IPL 2013, Mohali May 10, 2013

Dravid, Gilchrist praise Royals' death bowling

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rahul Dravid and Adam Gilchrist have praised the Rajasthan Royals bowlers for tying down the Kings XI Punjab batsmen towards the end of their innings in Mohali on Thursday. Kings XI were 105 for 2 in the 15th over but were restricted to 145 for 6, Royals allrounder Kevon Cooper leading the way with 3 for 23 from four overs. Ajinkya Rahane then made his third successive half-century as Royals recorded their ninth win of the season with eight wickets and an over to spare.

Dravid, the Royals captain, said death bowling had been a "major concern" for his side, and something that had been discussed among the players. "We have been discussing the issue in the team meetings, working out ways on how to improve our bowling at the death. We actually had a chat with two to three bowlers," Dravid said. "We came out with a few ideas and some plans. The bowlers have been implementing those plans for the last couple of games. I think the bowlers, particularly Kevon and James Faulkner, performed really well."

Gilchrist, the Kings XI captain, said his batsmen should have made more runs in the last five overs but also credited the Royals attack. "The middle-order batsmen didn't capitalise on the start," Gilchrist said. "But full credit to the Rajasthan bowlers. They worked out how to bowl at the death on that wicket. They had the perfect variations and took pace off the ball.

"The pitch was slower than usual. And that made it difficult for the batsmen to hit boundaries. That took the steam out of our batting. We wanted to set a target of around 160, which would have been competitive on this wicket. We had a good foundation but the middle-order batsmen failed to launch themselves."

Despite the early loss of Dravid in the chase, Rahane formed big partnerships with Shane Watson and Sanju Samson as Royals motored to victory. "We timed the chase perfectly," Dravid said. "It could have been a tricky chase, especially because of the slow wicket. They have got very good bowlers in their line-up as well. But Watson and Rahane had a good partnership going to lay the foundation. Then Rahane and Sanju Samson finished it off quite well."

Samson, the 18-year old wicketkeeper-batsman from Kerala, has impressed in the few opportunities he's got so far, and made an important contribution again, with an unbeaten 47 off 33 deliveries. Dravid said there was "something special" about Samson. "I hope he continues to work hard," Dravid said. "He is a very tough customer to bowl at. If you think you can stifle him by bowling short deliveries, you are wrong. He actually plays the short ball quite well. He can play shots and is a very good player of spin."

Cooper, the Man of the Match, said the slow Mohali pitch suited his bowling. "I wasn't bowling well in the last few games," Cooper said. "I knew I had to do well here. So it feels really nice to contribute to the team's win. The wicket was a bit slow. Actually, it suited my bowling. I just tried to take the pace off the ball and it worked out well for me. We bowled well in partnerships. That's very important in T20 cricket."

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  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    Rajasthan Royals have been superb in this tournament and are looking invincible at home where they are unbeaten. The most heartening aspect of their game is that it is the unknown players who have put up their hands up in tough situation to take the team to victory. Be it Samson, Binny or Faulkner each one of them contributed significantly towards the rise of the team in the ongoing tournament. Rahul Dravid has also led the team well and he has been selfless as a leader by giving chance to younger guys ahead of himself and thereby giving them confidence to play their game freely. Now that they have virtually qualified they must guard against complacency and must look to occupy the second slot as the top two in the league table will have a previlege of getting two chances to get into the final.

  • Kavin on May 11, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    No matter what happen, dont ever go to KKR, they'll make a mess of him. Stay with Dravid as long as you can.

  • Dummy4 on May 10, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    Let us not get carried away with a few performances. Just as Sanju Samson could turn out to be a special talent, Dhoni too is a special talent. There are several voids that will need to be filled if and when Dhoni retires. First of all it would be difficult for anyone can replace him as a ODI and T20 batsman+wicketkeeper+captain. You also need to remember that he is the best keeper when it comes to standing up to the stumps on turning tracks. He is outrageously brilliant/amazingly fast with his stumpings. I haven't seen anyone keep so well to spinners on Indian wickets after Syed Kirmani. Plus he is also no mean test batsman. While his statistics may not show that he is among the few Indian batsmen who is not uncomfortable against the short ball. He is bound to come good abroad in the near future. By the time he retires he will be counted along with the 'Holy' five of Indian cricket, Sunny Gavaskar, Sachin, Rahul Dravid Anil Kumble and Kapil Dev as a true great, if not already.

  • Vikram on May 10, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    @ satishchandar: I don't think filling the void of Dhoni, the wicketkeeper is tough. Dinesh Karthik, Saha and the likes can attest to that. It is the void of Dhoni, the captain, that will take extremely special talent to fill.

  • Dummy4 on May 10, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    RSD is proving that he is the best captain in the entire IPL setup. Dhoni is excellent but Dravid has the edge as he has a lesser number of stars in his side and they are showing great commitment under him.

    Despite being from Bengaluru, I support Rajasthan as they have more players from Karnataka than the Liquor baron team.

  • Manesh on May 10, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    @ satishchandar. Saha is a good keeper but not good batsman. Dinesh Karthik is a good batsman but not a good keeper. Sanju's future is bright as he is good in both department.

  • Dummy4 on May 10, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    The 18year old kid shows such a temperament at the international level. IPL makes good platform for young cricketer like him. Another good thing is diversity at this age he has got an opportunity to mingle with various International players. The Indian selector should watch an eye on this young guy who is very promising and confident to perform at International level. They should soon give him a chance and good for the Indian team. The other guy to be noticed is Rasool who can be a promising all-rounder who took 7 wickets against the mighty aussies in the warm up game.

  • Kavin on May 10, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    @Prabhakar Muthukrishnan - You just nailed it. Couldn't agree with you more. Dravid deserves more than what he has received from Indian cricket. Such a humble legend. Anyway, he don't need it, he has respect pouring from not only Indian fans but from fans in other countries as well.

  • Sriram on May 10, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    Samson should choose one of top 4 Ranji teams to test his skills! Kerala is a good team, but he needs tougher challenges in the Big league

  • Dummy4 on May 10, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    It is amazing what freedom to take decisions can do to a captain. The same Rahul Dravid , undoubtedly someone with a brilliant cricketing brain was definitely feeling constrained earlier during his captaincy stints with RCB and India. There were rumours flying thick that he was not being given a free run in both the occasions. In fact, he quit captaincy after a rare series win in England, which showed that there was something more to it than what meets the eye. The same was the case when he took over as captain of RCB, when reports of him not being given a free hand in team matters surfaced in the media. Kudos to the RR team management for giving the legend a free hand in running cricketing matters. The results are there for everyone to see. There is also a listen in this for other team owners- Don't poke your nose into something that you don't know well and leave legends to handle the stuff.