Bangalore: Apr 14, 2012
Unfazed by two back-to-back reverses, Rajasthan Royals (RR) captain Rahul Dravid sounded upbeat ahead of a tough match against hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) late Sunday in the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
"We believe that we got players who can beat any team on a given day. We have a team, which can win us matches as we have shown in the first two games when we had beaten stronger teams like Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Kings XI Punjab," Dravid told reporters late Saturday on the eve of a crucial league match with RCB on his home ground.
Admitting that the Royals could not sustain the winning momentum in the two home-away games, Dravid said though the team lost in the previous two matches against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai by 27 runs April 11 and against KKR by five wickets in Kolkata late Friday, they were quite close games.
"It is not that we have been completely outclassed. We know we are a tough team to play at home. We haven't had a great record away. We want to keep improving and do better in every game we will play though we have quite a young squad," Dravid said.
Asserting Royals had lot of potential to surprise other teams however strong, Dravid said it was exciting to work with a lot of young players and be as much competitive in the tournament to start winning home-away games too.
"I think we were quite competitive in the last two games though they were close and would have gone either way. Hopefully, we will start winning away games hereafter," Dravid noted.
Observing that it was honour to play in Bangalore and on the ground he grew up playing cricket, Dravid said it would be exciting to play in front of the home crowd against a host team.
"I am luck to play in Bangalore. It is great to play here as I had grown up playing here. Though am playing for another team, am sure I will continue to get the same support from the home crowd as I had over the years when I played for the country, the legendary batsman, who retired from Tests last month, recalled.
Asked if he was following in the footsteps of the legendary Aussie Shane Warne, who captained Royals in the first four IPL series till last year, to enable the team win the trophy for the second time after bagging it for the first time in the opening series in 2008,
Dravid said to lead the team was not a rocket science as he believed in keeping things as simple as possible.
"We give our boys freedom to play and express their views. That's what I noticed with Warnie last year. This is a bit of the same this year. We don't over-complicate things by holding long meetings and practice sessions. What we do is to play with intensity and have a lot of fun at the same time. I have been pleased with the boys' performance," he pointed out.
On the pitch conditions, the Royals skipper said the Chinnaswamy stadium had a good wicket with a fair sprinkling of grass albeit a few cracks on it.
"As (Lakshmipathy) Balaji of KKR got four wickets here (against RCB April 10), the track has something for seamers though spinners like (Muthaiah) Muralitharan and (Daniel) Vettori were able to take wickets as they are quality bowlers. (IANS)