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Interview

Prajakta Pawar in Jaipur

We need to get back to the nets: Tsotsobe

Lions’ pacer says his team needs to bounce back from defeat against Royals

By bagging the key wickets of Sanju Samson and Shane Watson, Lonwabo Tsotsobe helped keep the Rajasthan Royals in check, after the Highveld Lions opted to field first at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. However, the Royals’ late onslaught saw them set a target that was too steep for the Lions to chase down.

Reflecting on the match after losing to the Rahul Dravid-led side, the tall pacer from South Africa analysed his team’s performance and spoke about his own bowling.

Excerpts from his interview:

What was thought process when the Lions opted to bowl first on this wicket?

We thought it was a very good pitch to bowl. We backed our bowlers to do a good job, but it just didn’t go our way. I think our bowlers were a bit unappreciated at the end there. But it was one of those games; it was our first outing actually. So I think the boys are going to bounce back.

What was your plan for Samson and Watson, both of whom have been in good nick?

My plans are basic. I try to hit back-of-length, use my bouncers and slower balls, and yorkers now and then. And I try and make the batsman do wrong things, and that’s basically it.

Watson was taking the attack to the bowlers. What was going through your mind as you bowled to him?

We all know that Shane Watson is a pretty destructive player and when he is on song on his day, he will hit bowlers very far. But you know it is just that you have to keep your composure against him. He is a good player and you can’t take that away from him. But you just need to be clever against him and try and work him out.

Where do you think you lost the game?

We had a good start. I just think we lost too many quick wickets, which is part of the game. The boys have been working very hard in the nets and you can’t really fault them. I just think that the quality of decision-making that we did in this game was not as what we would like to be. But I hope that we wake up tomorrow, go practice and get back on our way to playing again.

What do you make of Jaipur?

It is a good atmosphere, beautiful ground, the pitch is good. The pitch has got good bounce, good for the bowlers. But again it is good for the batters if the ball comes nicely on to the bat. Like I said, we can’t fault anything but ourselves. But I am sure the boys will wake up tomorrow and do their work.

Would you consider your pace attack to be your strength?

We have lot of variety in our team. We have got two world-class spinners – Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso – and we have got Hardus Viljoen, myself, Sohail Tanvir and Dwaine Pretorius. So it is a well-balanced attack.

South African teams are known for pacers. How do they adapt to conditions in the subcontinent?

In this time and age people learn to adapt and because in India we thought that the wickets weren’t going to be as quick as South African wickets, the use of our skill factor was going to be required. I just think that the boys adapted well and they could bowl the yorkers, slow balls, bouncers, slow ball bouncers, which was very good.

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