‘No need to panic’ – Rahane claims as RR’s woes mount

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Ajinkya Rahane, Rajasthan Royals’ skipper feels, there is ‘no need to panic’ as yet after his team lost their fourth game of the tournament on Sunday to Kolkata Knight Riders, and now sit above only Royal Challengers Bangalore on the points table with one win in five matches.
After being troubled on a slow pitch in Jaipur, where they were restricted to 139, they were put on the backfoot by the early assault of the KKR openers – Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine – who put on the team’s highest opening partnership of the season. The duo added 91 runs in only 8.3 overs to ease away in the chase, overhauling the total in only 13.5 overs.
While stating that despite the losses there is enough reason for Rajasthan to turn their fortunes, Rahane admits that the players have to back themselves to take a few more risks and execute their plans better. “When you’re losing, you can risk overthinking. But when you’re winning, you don’t dwell on things that much,” the Royals skipper said after his side’s 8-wicket loss to KKR. “I think there’s no need for us to panic yet. Out of the five matches that we played, we lost badly in just one game. We played well in our last four matches, out of which we could have won three.
“Execution is the key for us as a batting and bowling unit. Risk is an integral part of the T20 format and players need to often back themselves. It’s not the responsibility of an individual, but rather the whole team. We win as a team, we lose as a team. We need to improve as a team.
“The set batsmen need to stay on the crease longer and take the game deeper, while also taking calculated risks. Similarly, the bowlers need to execute their plans based on the understanding of the wicket, and by observing the difficulties that the batsmen are facing with regards to playing any shots. Overall, the team needs to improve. An individual cannot be blamed for losses.
“It was important for us to post 150-160 on board, which we felt would be a challenging total on that wicket. We struggled to get to 140, which is possibly a learning for the bowling unit. While playing at home, we need to adjust to the wicket as soon as possible, while also being aware of the correct line and length that is to be bowled. It’s not too late for us. If we can improve and apply ourselves, the desired results will surely follow. “
Rajasthan had their chances early in the second innings, when they could have seen the back of both Lynn and Narine in the powerplay. However, an error followed by some misfortune led to things going against the hosts.
In the first ball of the fourth over, Dhawal Kulkarni had managed to induce the top edge off Narine, which went high up in the air and gave Rahul Tripathi enough time to settle under the ball. However, he put an easy chance down. And off the next ball, the pacer got an inside edge off Chris Lynn to hit the stumps but not have the bails dislodge. Defending a small total, such opportunities were much-needed for Royals. However, the wicket aside, the ball travelled past the boundary ropes and was awarded in favour of the batsman.
Both cashed in on their respective reprieves; Lynn adding 37 off his next 21 balls while Narine gaining 24 from his next 81. The partnership itself flourished, picking 55 from the next 5.2 overs.