Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals, IPL, Durban May 4, 2009

Carseldine underlines need for consistency

Australian allrounder Lee Carseldine has admitted that Rajasthan Royals haven't played good cricket so far but remains hopeful that the win against Deccan Chargers in their last game will prove to be the turning point for them.

The 33-year-old reckons that tomorrow's game will be a battle between the in-form Kings XI Punjab bowlers and Rajasthan's batsmen. "We know our batting has to get bit more consistent but we are well in our way in doing that," Carseldine said. "Punjab have been bowling well and it's going to be an interesting challenge."

Rajasthan have won only three games from seven matches and are seventh in the points table but Carseldine preferred to look ahead. "We are not playing our best cricket but we are still in tournament. If we can win the next game, we would be two in a row and it's the consistency we are looking at. You have to be strong and calm in the present situation. Every team is close to each other. There is going to be lots of pressure on guys batting first up or bowling up front. It's going to be exciting."

Carseldine has only played one game so far and hit a breezy 39 to help Rajasthan win a tense chase against Deccan. He is considered as a Twenty20 specialist and has been spoken of highly by Rajasthan's captain-coach Shane Warne.

"It's not a easy game. It can get really away from you very quickly," said Carseldine. "It can get suffocating, be it batting or bowling or fielding under pressure. It's a game you really have to keep it very simple; there are lots of off-field restrictions and it's short and compact."

Carseldine said the best part of the team was the spirit that Warne had helped build. "This is the first time I have experienced his captaincy. He is definitely all about the team. When you get into tight situations stronger team spirit shines through and it showed other night [against Deccan Chargers]."

The four foreign Rajasthan players who are likely to play tomorrow are Warne, Carseldine, Graeme Smith and Dimitri Mascarenhas. Tyron Henderson is the one who has missed out and is desperate to get a chance.

"It would have been nice if you get five foreign players in the team but I have heard the other argument that it's an Indian tournament," said Henderson. "Anyways, it's not a decision for us. We just have to play according to the rules. It's a bit disappointing not to have played, but with the situation with four overseas players and with Shane Warne and Smith there, six guys are playing for two spots."

However, Henderson has been given a specific role by Warne. Henderson has been asked to help the team with his local knowledge. "I give advice and inputs on the local conditions. Graeme Smith is there, but considering the amount of international cricket, even he doesn't get to play much of domestic cricket. That's my role now."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo