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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rajasthan Royals: Not as bad as it looks!-- Season Review

With already a lesser purse than others at the auction, they started at a disadvantage. Yet, their achievements have been more than the results suggest. Let's have a look in details.

First, player by player.
Shane Warne: He was retained for a fat sum. People argued it wasn't very wise because nobody would have taken him in auctions anyway and he would've been available for a lot lesser price. That's where the Royals thought differently, they didn't want to give respect to players like 'other franchises' by only speaking good in media and showing a different attitude otherwise. They served real respect by retaining Warnie at a high price. Hats off Royals! He did what he was supposed to do, captain and coach the side in a way they feel they have it in them. Truly, apart from a couple of foreign players, the team was doing pretty well. And his bowling was still pretty good and effective leaving an odd game or two. He signed off as a champion, and for the last Sachin vs Warne, it wasn't even a competition, Sachin was left guessing mostly and scored runs of edges and mishits off Warne. Warne, on the field, is a champion.

Shane Watson: The second retention. He is currently world's best allrounder without doubt. He was supposed to deliver the goods at a higher frequency. His bowling was more or less effective, his batting lacked the fire they needed and a couple more of what he did in their final game would've got RR in the top 2 slots probably. On occasions, he was there, batting and the opening partnership worked well, like 60 or 89 but the lower order failed to capitalize. Great example being 89-0 in 10 against Chennai, and the team managing just 60 more in final 10. Surely, it's not only him to be blamed, especially because he's been carrying the burden of a team that were once champions but now are about 2-3 players. He has been super-consistent in international cricket and surely, we won't judge him by his IPL performances. After all, it's a club game and nation comes first.

Rahul Dravid: It was good that Dravid isn't playing for RC(B?). However, the column isn't on them. Rahul Dravid was his consistent self. Having shown in last 3-4 games what he could do at the top of the order, he opened in all the innings he played. It was a different role than the one he had in RCB with Kallis because he was supposed to be the second-fiddle here. Except for the last game, and a game with Botha, he was the more aggressive partner. He has scored runs consistently, and despite not converting the starts, he made sure the opening wasn't a problem. His 44 and 66 were brilliant, 66 coming in a losing cause when they were 89-0 in 10 overs. That's been the problem of Royals, the middle order and below, but Rahul Dravid did what was expected of him, just with the exception of not converting the starts. He could've done better, much much better. But as is always the case, Dravid's couple of failures will be talked more than his brilliant performances. Following him for years, am pretty much used to it. Also, in an inexperienced line-up, you need to have someone who stops those batting collapses. Plus, the Jaipur pitch for most of the games. 


Though mostly, RR have themselves to blame, especially losing the momentum when they were coming from 3-games winning streak and were 89-0 @ Chidambram Stadium vs Chennai. Two more wins, and they'd have been in the qualifiers. RCB washout also affected a lot. Yet, there is a great season to look in the next year with a new captain. The top contenders being Rahul Dravid, Johan Botha, Shane Watson and Ross Taylor. I'd make a choice between Dravid and Botha, Dravid having an edge obviously. But it all depends on the management, and they may want a long-term captain and so might look at someone younger. 
Full Blog :
Removed most part, keeping only Dravid's portion mostly. IF you want to read full, you can read from the above link. 
P.S. For me, Dravid can play for next four years but he had a bit different thoughts!


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