Rahul Dravid praises Brad Hodge after Rajasthan Royals' win over Otago Volts

Brad Hodge smashed a 23-ball unbeaten 52 to lead Rajasthan Royals to a four-wicket win over Otago Volts © PTI

Jaipur: Oct 1, 2013
Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid on Tuesday said it made sense to have Brad Hodge batting lower down the order since he is fantastic finisher.

Hodge smashed a 23-ball unbeaten 52 to lead Royals to a four-wicket win over Otago Volts.

“When he bats like that, why should Hodge bat up the order? There are not many people who can do what he does, and I haven’t seen many people who can bat at the end of the innings under pressure like he does,” Dravid said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

By virtue of their top-place finish in Group A, Royals will get to play their semi-final at home, where they have on 12 matches on the trot.

“The unbeaten record is not that important. I just hope we can keep it for one more game. In the end we want to keep the momentum going and we knew in the back of our mind that even if we did qualify for the semi finals, then we would get an extra day off before the final. So its nice to get the semifinal game at home, and then have a day off before the final,” Dravid said.

Dravid said the support that all the members of the side enjoy, was key in his their good run.

“I think there is a lot of belief in our group and a good environment among the group and I think the young guys who come in know they are backed and that they are in the team for specific reasons. “

Paceman Rahul Shukla, who produced a fiery spell in which he took three wickets in five balls, was declared Man of the Match.

“My plan was to bowl as well as I could. Captain backs me a lot and I bowl well because of it. I am very happy to be in the side.”

Otago Volts captain Brendon McCullum said Shukla’s bowling and Hodge’s batting took the match away from them. He though was happy that they managed to post a good total despite being reduced to 21 for 4 at one stage.

“I thought we did a really good job to get to 140, and especially with the ball, we showed some good fighting abilities. The way Hodge played at the end was brilliant. It didn’t take me by surprise.

“I thought Shukla bowled a couple of good deliveries, he had some nice pace about him. Three wickets in one over, and between him and Hodgy, it proved a match winning performance.”

The Kiwi skipper said now they have no option but to wait and watch the result of match between Mumbai Indians and Perth Scorchers on Wednesday.

“Yeah we will be looking at the Mumbai-Perth game closely. We didn’t grab the opportunity so whatever happens tomorrow will happens. But if we do find ourselves out, we will be grateful for what we have done in this tournament,” he said.