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Prajakta Pawar in Jaipur

We’re ready for CLT20: Dravid

Rajasthan Royals skipper says his team has the potential to go the distance

The Rajasthan Royals will be starting their Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20 2013 campaign in their fortress, the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Semi-finalists in IPL 2013, the Rahul Dravid-led side will be one to watch out for in the main tournament.

Keen to do well, the RR captain said, “You have to play six-seven matches for that (winning the tournament). If we keep up the performance that we had in the IPL and the spirit remains the same and if we play to our potential, I hope that we will stay in contention.”

Discussing his team’s preparation leading up to the tournament, Dravid said that they are ready. “Most of our boys have been playing cricket. If you talk about our international players, Shane Watson and James Faulkner have arrived after playing for Australia, while Ajinkya Rahane, Ashok Menaria, Sanju Samson have been playing for India A/Under-23 India side, etc. At least eight-nine of the boys have been playing cricket continuously after the IPL.”

“We have been preparing, and you can’t prepare too much. Those who hadn’t practiced much had come a week before and we have been practicing. So we are ready,” he added.

Speaking about the team’s success, coach Paddy Upton elaborated, “The whole Rajasthan Royals success and the way we built our team is around a team as opposed to individuals. The young players and the slightly lesser experienced or exposed players have played an integral role and certainly a lot of work that Rahul and myself do is to bring those young players into the fold to give them as much opportunity as possible. (We want) to encourage them and invite them to talk in team meetings to have their say and to make their own decisions and really be part of the team as opposed to having a team where there are a couple of superstars and the limelight is on them and they tell the youngsters what to do. The thing is having a team where everyone contributes, and that is what is really exciting for me.”

“I think we have been very fortunate that a lot of our campaign’s success is based around the success of the young players. There are a lot of them; Sanju Samson is exciting and he has done really nicely. Not that he is that young, but Dishant Yagnik has done nicely. He has played only one or two games and he is definitely not young, but Pravin Tambe has shown a lot of character and energy,” the coach added.

The team is excited and looking forward to playing again in Jaipur. Dravid, who will be making an appearance for the last time for the Royals in this tournament, said that there is always an emotional attachment. “You want to play good cricket irrespective of the fact that it is your first or last tournament.”

“We have played well here. Boys are happy to play here. The crowd support is good. Our boys are comfortable here in Jaipur, so I hope we will put up a good performance this time as well.

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