Rajasthan Royal players celebrate their team's victory during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royal at Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium in Mohali. Rajasthan won by 43 runs. AFP Photo/Raveendran
Their campaign back on track after the 43-run win over Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid has said that opposition teams would be making a big mistake by taking side lightly in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
"I think we have shown in this competition that we are a team to be taken seriously even though not many people have given us much of a chance this time," Dravid said at the post-match press conference after beating Kings XI on Saturday night.
Rajasthan is presently lying fifth in the standings with 10 points from 11 games, but Dravid is optimistic about his team making it to the play offs.
"We are underdogs in most games, but we like being that. We play good cricket and we have shown that in this competition, except for the last game against Delhi Daredevils in Jaipur. Every game we have been competitive and we have fought till the end. With five games to go, I hope we can get a bit of a roll here and hopefully, we can qualify for the eliminator," he said.
The win against Kings XI would act as a big morale booster for Jaipur outfit, who came on to Saturday's game low on confidence after four defeats on the trot.
"We knew if we had lost this game, we would have made the task very difficult for ourselves. So, its nice to win a game and get back into the middle of the table. But it's going to be tough from here. A lot of big teams are out there, much bigger names than us, but we are in that stage of the tournament where we are still in with a fighting chance," Dravid said.
Dravid made 46 while Australian all-rounder Shane Watson hit a 17-ball 36-run cameo and also picked up two wickets to help Rajasthan's cause against Kings XI.
Dravid also said that Shuan Tait and Watson's inclusion in the playing eleven has brought the much-needed balance in their bowling attack.
"We played Shaun Tait and Shane Watson and that showed in our bowling performance. But bowling is an area where we need to keep improving because our batting is quite strong and lot of guys are in good form for us," he said.
He said that Kevin Cooper's injury had opened up a slot for Tait in the playing eleven.
"We can play only four foreigners, its not easy. Today we had to drop Owais Shah, who is in such good form to get in Tait. So its not an easy thing to do. We had to drop Brad Hogg, who has probably been the highest wicket-taker for us in the competition," Dravid added.
Dravid also said that fielding is one area where they need to work harder after his fielders dropped three relatively easy catches yesterday.
"The lights here in Mohali are quite low. But this (fielding) is an area where we can work on, go back and practice under the lights. I think it was a very good performance except for those couple of blemishes on the field."
Asked about his own form, the former India cricketer said, "I am really enjoying the way I have been batting this season. I think me and Ajinkya Rahane have been giving the team some good starts. He (Rahane) has been batting sensational this season. Our partnerships have been crucial to the team's success so far."
"I think in the first six overs, Rajasthan Royals has scored more runs than any other team than Delhi Daredevils. I am pleased with the way we are going. I just try to play good cricketing shots. I have been timing the ball really well," he said.