Mumbai Indians v Royals, IPL 2014, Mumbai May 25, 2014

Very disappointed we didn't qualify - Dravid

ESPNcricinfo staff

In the chaotic denouement of one of the most dramatic IPL matches of the season, Rahul Dravid stood up from his seat in the Rajasthan Royals dugout, pulled off his cap and flicked it into the ground. The emotional display from the Royals mentor, one of cricket's most stoic figures, perfectly encapsulated the frustration of watching his side let a game and a playoff spot slip away in improbable circumstances.

"In terms of emotion, we thought we won the game at one stage," Dravid said after a gut-wrenching five-wicket loss to Mumbai Indians ended Royals' season. "Then we still had to bowl a ball and they hit the boundary so you can just imagine the emotions. There was sheer disappointment in their camp, joy in our camp and suddenly a ball later that's completely reversed. So for sheer emotion and drama, I think this was probably one of the best games of cricket I've been involved in. It's just disappointing that I happened to be on the wrong side of the result."

Mumbai needed to achieve a target of 190 in 14.3 overs to overtake Royals' net run rate and qualify for the playoffs. They had a brisk start but when Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma was dismissed two balls into the 10th over, with the score 108 for 4, it left the side needing 82 off 31 balls. Dravid said that a couple of decent overs would have ensured that Royals secured a playoff berth. Instead, Mumbai scored 49 off the next 2.4 overs and entered the start of the 13th over requiring a slightly less daunting 33 runs off 15 deliveries. Corey Anderson was motoring away on 75 off 33 balls and eventually finished 95 not out.

"At that stage if you bowl a couple of seven, eight-run overs or 10-run overs for that matter, the game quickly goes out of hand," Dravid said. "But they kept getting that 15, 16-run over. They just stayed in the game. It looked at the stage we got Rohit out, I think after that stage when Rayudu and Anderson batted, there was a period of about 12 to 15 balls where we suddenly gave 50 runs. That was the critical phase of the game where we thought we could've maybe bowled a couple of better overs there. The guys have tried their best and it's just not worked out for us in this tournament."

Dravid said Royals' death bowling had cost them in all three losses at the end of the season, including two to Mumbai. He deflected away criticism over team selection during that stretch, when a win in any of the last three games would have clinched a playoff spot. When prompted to elaborate, Dravid said the team was battling its share of injures and rejected any notion that they had rested players to get them refreshed for the playoff stage when a spot seemed practically assured for the Royals.

"We knew we needed about 16 points to qualify. It's not that we were trying to say, 'Oh we've already qualified.' We were not trying to be arrogant at that stage. Even today we made three changes in a must-win game. The last game we made three changes. We tried to play the situation. Ajinkya Rahane was injured in that [first loss to Mumbai]. If you noticed he didn't field in the game before that. He was carrying an injury. We would have loved to have played him but that is the nature of the situation."

Despite the immediate disappointment of failing to qualify for this year's playoffs, Dravid was optimistic for the future, saying the young nucleus of the side would only get better over the next two years.

"I think there's a lot of positives from our season as well. It's the first year and we've always been saying that this is the first year of three," Dravid said. "The performances of people like Sanju [Samson] again, Karun Nair has been exceptional, even people like Ankit Sharma and Rahul Tewatia who played only a couple of games and showed there is a potential for the future. I think Steven Smith playing for us this year showed that he is going to become a force to reckon with in the IPL and in this tournament. So there were a lot of positives from that point of view."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    I think rehane was good stop blaming him its the bowlers in particular James

  • Ashok on May 27, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    RR were just one win away from qualification with 3 matches to go. They dropped Samson, Rahane, Faulkner & smith from the line up & lost. Even after this loss they kept on experimenting with the line up until the whole batting order changed in the Match against MI. Why on earth any body thinks that Nair should not open the innings after his success & being in form for the previous 5 matches defies logic. Watson lost the game for RR with 8 runs in 18 balls. It was Nair again who came after Watson & raised RR to the final total with a brilliant 50 at S/R of 185 followed by Hodge & Faulkner who got 20 odd runs at around S/R of 185. Having reached 189, RR should have focussed on the 4 Foreign players - all medium pacers- to defend the score by bowling 16 economical overs (<13 runs/over) between them. But they failed. Only Cooper was below 10 runs/over. This is where they lost the match- very poor bowling with Watson giving 33 runs in 2 overs. Watson lost the match single handedly!

  • Xiong on May 27, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta Do you even watch cricket? What on Earth are you talking about. Since when has a team chasing a target in limited overs cricket ever had to continue batting after reaching the target they have been set and winning the game?

    Not to mention that what you're mistakenly talking about also works the other way around. MI only needed 2 runs off the 14.4 ball to have a higher NRR than RR. The problem is it was impossible for MI to score 2 runs. Once they run the first run the game is over, even if they completed a second run it doesn't count. Even if they run 1 and then the RR fielders give away 4 overthrows the game still ends with the 1 and the overthrows don't count. Hence why they needed a boundary.

  • Arul on May 27, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    If it was other way around (RR batting and MI bowling), MI would have bowled a wide and qualify for the playoffs.

  • Android on May 27, 2014, 3:37 GMT

    Mumbai have achieved the target of 190 in 14.4 overs itself. They were chasing and not setting the target. By successfully scoring 190 runs in 14.4 overs they increased their team's N.R.R significantly in comparison to R.R. Then y should they play for another 5.2 overs unnecessarily. Anyway my humble suggestion to you Mr.Jose is u pay a visit to your Maths teacher and get his opinion on this matter. I think u missed the class when he was teaching about Average calculations. Yusuff Pervaze.

  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2014, 3:16 GMT

    @ Facebook user....The game was played in its entirety. I guess you need a lesson on basic cricket rules. For the chasing team, they don't need to bat 20 overs, but instead achieve the target -which is precisely what happened to end the game. And btw, the batsman's name is Anderson not Richardson.

  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2014, 2:23 GMT

    I have not been a big fan of Dravid, but I am surprised with the critics here including the GREAT Ajit Agarker, about his change in batting order etc. That was only reason he they scored 189 runs. Now in the fiels you bowlers are letting them to score 189 in 13-14 overs, where is his fault? Even in last over Faulkner gifted two full tosses. Where is the wrong in team strategy and change in players?

  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2014, 0:22 GMT

    An innings is COMPLETED only after 20 overs are fully played or all the batsmen had been bowled out, before that.

    Run-rate is the result of a game played fully. It can NOT be and should NOT be stopped mid way, when it favours one team or the other. The innings in this case should have gone on till it is complete.

    Looking at the way Richardson was playing and the batting prowess of Tare, MI might have ended up even at a higher NRR. But that is not the point. Arbitrary stoppage of the game, using NRR as the central focus is the issue.

    Theoretically, at least, RR could have taken out the remaining wickets cheaply with overs to spare (then for RR, 20 overs would have been taken into account). AND, the NRR AFTER the game was completed in such a manner, might have favoured RR. The arbitrary stoppage of the innings, before it was complete was illogical and wrong. Games are played for winning. Run rate is the RESULT. The authorities put cart before the horse. -Jose Puliampatta

  • farooq on May 26, 2014, 16:02 GMT

    Still can't digest that when opposition needs 14 of 3 balls and an interantional bowler would bowl 2 low full tosses on pads (LEG SIDE). batsmen just need to help himself and guide it where it was perfectly guided even by someone like Tare.... to me tells a lot.... Also, seems like in last 3-4 games RR were testing thier bench strength for playoffs.....

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    wide is a win for MI - and its not sportsmen ship

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