Australian Shane Watson had rocked the night at the Opening Gala Dinner at the Emirates Palace last week with an acoustic rendition of the hit song ‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E King. Watson will be hoping that his team — the Rajasthan Royals — will stand by him through his lean patch. The team captain and a hard-hitting batsman, Watson has got out cheaply in his previous four innings and he hoped that a big one just round the corner.
“I’m very disappointed with the way I have been batting at the moment. I have not scored runs in the last four innings that I’ve played which is extremely disappointing. I haven’t been able to get through the start of my innings which is integral part of my batting to get going,” Watson said.
“But I also do know how cricket works as well. Unfortunately, you have some down time when things aren’t going according to plan. But all that can quickly turn around pretty quickly as well. I’m not worried because once you get a few balls in the right areas, everything will change. In the end, as a captain, it is your duty to try and win and contribute with the bat,” he added.
Even though his side pulled off a thrilling chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Shaikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium on Friday, Watson failed to fire on the night.
Rajasthan Royals made heavy weather of a small target but got there in the end thanks to opener Ajinkya Rahane’s half-century and a good hand from Stuart Binny, who remained unbeaten. James Faulkner came in and hit consecutive boundaries to seal the win. Watson felt that the pitch changed a bit during the second game after the first match had generated over 400 runs.
“In the end, we bowled well to be able to restrict such a high quality batting order to 133. But the wicket certainly changed compared to the first game. The ball definitely swung a bit more. There was seam movement as well. The dew came on to the ground just a little bit and freshened up that wicket,” he said.
“We made a meal of that chase and we always knew that they are heavy with their quality quicks with Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvy (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) as well. They are highly skilful with the ball swinging around and seaming a little bit.
“I think Ajinkya did a brilliant job with Stuart Binny to build a partnership at a really crucial time. There is never an ideal time to get out. And I think with the quality and depth of our batting line-up we know there is a lot of hitting to come with the likes of James Faulkner goes out there and smacks two balls for four. So, that is how our team is set up that way,” added Watson.
Batsman Sanju Samson kept wickets in place of regular ‘keeper Dishant Yagnik but Watson defended the move by saying that it made the team more balanced.
“At this point of time, the makeup of the team is such that Sanju will continue to be the wicketkeeper. Every game and every team that we play against, we will be trying to match up against them as we possibly can. There is no doubt that Dishant is an outstanding keeper and a high quality batsman too. We saw what Dishant Yagnik did to Lasith Malinga in Kolkata last year. But this, at point of time, the balance of the team works with Sanju.
“He has done an excellent job every time he has kept for us. So, Sanju rarely makes mistakes with the gloves. I definitely think he is more than a part-time wicketkeeper. He has got really nice hands and he is a great athlete as well. He has always been able to adapt,” the all-rounder said.
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