Hyderabad, May 18 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid believes reaching play-offs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) was a great achievement of his team and said they were looking forward to playing the semi-finals.
After a 23-run defeat at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad here Friday night, Royals with 20 points are likely to finish third or fourth and play their play-off game in Delhi May 22.
“We have a few days off. We play only on (May) 22nd. We have got four days before the next game which is a good break. We will go to Jaipur and regroup and have few good practice sessions in the ground that we like and in an environment we really enjoy and then go to play-offs,” he said.
“It was great achievement for boys to make it to play-offs and while this game had not gone as well as planned, we still have another chance to (get a) crack at the trophy. We will prepare ourselves for Delhi and really looking forward to play-offs,” he added.
He did not agree the spot-fixing scandal which led to the arrest of three players, had any impact on the team’s performance.
“There is no point in brushing under carpet. These couple of days were tough for everyone concerned but I was very happy the boys responded to this challenge,” Dravid said.
“It was not easy for all of them but once we crossed the line, I could sense everyone was playing to win, everyone wanting to do their best, everyone was trying to put up really good show. It was really a pleasure to lead the team today,” Dravid added.
The former Indian captain, who has scored over 400 runs in this IPL so far, said the much bigger achievement than all his runs was to qualify for play-offs.
“It has been a three-year project since I joined Rajasthan Royals. Slowly we have made the team stronger and worked with youngsters and ensured we make it to plays offs. Now that we have made it to play-offs, we are little greedy. We want to go to next step,” Dravid said.
On the loss to Sunrisers, he said his wicket was the turning point as the team could score only 12 to 13 runs in the next five overs and lost two wickets.
“It was never an easy wicket to bat on but I think if we had carried that partnership on for another 20 or 25 runs, me and Rahane, may be other batsmen could have come and may be got 60 or 70 we needed but it was not to be. We kept losing wickets after that.”
Dravid believes his team did quite well in the first half to restrict Sunrisers to 135.
“We always knew that in Hyderabad even 135 is very difficult to chase on that wicket. We knew that chasing 135 is going to take some doing but we had been batting quite well lately chasing so we thought we might be able to do it but I think credit to Sunrisers they bowled very well in the middle period,” he added.
“I think for this kind of wicket they have got very good bowling attack. They play well in these conditions. We didn’t adapt as well as we could have in these conditions,” he added.
Dravid said his team felt the absence of a second spinner, especially in the middle overs, after having Sunrisers at three for five. He pointed out that the wicket required two spinners but at the moment the team lacked the resources.