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Prajakta Pawar in Jaipur

We don’t rely on individual performers: Rahane

Rajasthan Royals opener says team effort is the secret behind their success

Having opened their account in the Karbonn Smart Champions League Twnety20 with a convincing win over the Mumbai Indians and rain washing out the other two matches in Group A, the Rajasthan Royals find themselves at the top of the table. The Rahul Dravid-led team has been training diligently at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium as they look to progress in the tournament.

While speaking to the media ahead of their match against the Highveld Lions, Royals’ opener Ajinkya Rahane said, “We won the first game and momentum is with us now. Anything can happen in Twenty20s, so we don’t want to think about other teams getting only two points (off abandoned games). We just want to continue with our strategy and what we did against the Mumbai Indians.”

Speaking about their opponents in the match on Wednesday, the Highveld Lions, the RR cricketer said, “Lions have a decent team and good, experienced bowlers. Sohail Tanvir is there, and they have Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Imran Tahir, Aaron Phangiso; they have a good team. As for us, we are not depending on any individual bowler or batsman, we want to play as a team the way we did against Mumbai Indians, where everyone contributed towards winning. Vikramjeet Malik bowled well, but the others supported him well – that is also very crucial.”

“I think a three-day gap is a good gap. T20 is a high-intensity game and you need to be alert always. This break can help us, especially the fast bowlers,” he added while discussing the team’s preparations.

While discussing their opening game, he said, “In the last match, it was raining initially and some moisture was there, so it was hard to play shots. But when you were timing the ball, it was easier, and that’s what we decided to do. And it worked well for Sanju Samson and me. The partnerships between us and then with Watto and Stuart Binny were both very crucial.”

When asked about Shane Watson coming in to bat at No.4 in the chase during the first game, Rahane explained, “I think that day (against the Mumbai Indians), the situation was such that the management – Paddy Upton and Rahul Bhai (Dravid) decided that Watto should bat at No.4 and that is what will help us. Against the Chennai Super Kings also (in IPL 2013), we chased 144 on a similar kind of wicket and Watto got around 70-odd and the strategy worked for us. In T20s you have to be very flexible.”

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