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March 30, 2013
"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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After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test