We knew Warne's retirement was coming: Johan Botha

Rajasthan will reciprocate by playing well & ending this IPL for Warne on a high note Getty Images

Jaipur: May 9, 2011

South African allrounder Johan Botha feels that the decision of the Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Warne to retire from Indian Premier League as a player at the end of this IPL season will be taken as a challenge by the team.

Speaking to the media on the eve of Rajasthan Royals match against the Chennai Super Kings, the off-spinner said that the decision of the Australian spin legend did not come as a surprise to the team.

“We knew it was coming. He had to work very hard during off season to be in shape for IPL and has bowled really well.

We will take his decision as positive and as a challenge. We want to reciprocate by playing well in the last few games to help him end the IPL on a high note,” Botha said.

Botha, who has been doing well at number three, meanwhile refused to get too bothered by the new pitch, on which the teams would play tomorrow.

“I don’t think it would make much difference. Chennai are a good side. But the last game which we lost by eight wickets was much closer than what it looked at the end. Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina played well but had we got a few early wickets, things might have been different.

“We also made a few mistakes like allowing easy singles to Hussey,” said Botha.

Rajasthan Royals will now be facing all strong teams — Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Mumbai Indians — in their remaining four matches but Botha said he and his team loved challenges.

“We have beaten the top teams earlier. We love challenges but realise it is not going to be easy. We have to win three out of four for a berth in the top-four,” he said.