IPL 2020: Rajasthan Royals aim to throw the kitchen sink
Coach Andrew McDonald and captain Steve Smith urge players to release the shackles
With a line-up just as good if not better than the Mumbai Indians - with a good blend of homegrown talent and foreign stars, the Rajasthan Royals should have been hovering right at the top. Instead, the inaugural IPL champions find themselves almost at the bottom of the pile.
They have done only a tad better than wooden spoonists Chennai Super Kings and a play-off berth is getting farther and farther away. But all is not lost yet as they have three more fixtures remaining and their destiny is in their own hands, so to speak.
If the Royals do manage to win all three against the Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab and the Kolkata Knight Riders, and if other results go their way, Steve Smith's side could just about sneak into the top four.
And coach Andrew McDonald and Smith urged their men to go for broke and throw the kitchen sink at it.
"Our challenge now going forward is we got three games. And you can believe it or not, we are still a chance. But we have got nothing to lose now," McDonald told the players in the dressing room following their defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Thursday night.
So, it is almost like that moment where we can just release the shackles and we can go for it because we have nothing to lose now. From this moment, our destiny is in other people's hands. But we can still be a dangerous team. We can still come together and we can play the cricket that we want to play," added the 39-year-old.
McDonald, who is also the assistant coach to Justin Langer in the Australian team, felt that the team is capable of doing much better than what the results show.
"There's a lot more for this team to give and I don't think we have been showing it to the world what this group can do. And that's frustrating, it is disappointing, there's all sorts of emotions around that. But it is on us, it is on us to go again, it is on us to perform, it is on us to prepare, it is on us to do everything. There is no one who can help us in this situation and we have got three games," he said.
"And all I encourage us to do is perform to the maximum. And if the opposition is better than us on that day, fair play. But I feel as though that is not the feeling, isn't it? It is always like we could have done this, we could have done that, we knew we had more in the tank. So, our challenge is let's see how much we have got in the tank, let's see how good we can be, let's be a dangerous team...take the shackles off, guys," added McDonald.
Smith, meanwhile, felt that they are yet to bring their perfect game to the table.
"I still think we haven't played the perfect game yet. And it is unfortunate. This deep into the tournament, we haven't been able to do that. But as Macca (McDonald) just said our fate is in our hands. If we win the next three games and things go our way, we can still make the play-offs. So, play with freedom, no fear, go out there and trust yourselves, back yourselves and let's give ourselves every chance. That's all we can do from here," said Smith.
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