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Master tactician eager to ambush Kolkata

cricket Updated: May 01, 2008 02:18 IST
Varun Gupta
Varun Gupta
Hindustan Times
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Inside his head, Shane Warne, captain of Jaipur, has it all figured out. Win the toss, bat first, roast the Kolkata players' already fatigued minds and bodies in the merciless Rajasthan heat, and then hope for the best.

Never one to flinch in the face of anything, Warne, on the eve of his side's match against Kolkata, said with the visitors losing two games on the trot, and having to travel almost whole of Wednesday to reach Jaipur, he would have no hesitation in going against the trend of chasing — Jaipur have won three consecutive games while chasing.

"Kolkata is a dangerous side and will be hurting after losing two consecutive games. They played a game on Tuesday and they're going to be traveling all of Wednesday. We have a day game against them and it's going to be boiling hot. So it's better to bat first and keep their players on the field," Warne said.

At the press briefing, Warne spoke with a lot of intent and assurance about his team's chances and it is not hard to see why. After three consecutive wins, confidence is running high in the dressing room and the addition of England's Dimitri Mascarenhas has further emboldened the players.

"We are carrying momentum with us which is extremely important in Twenty20. I always said that we had a skillful squad that was thin on experience. But we never doubted our abilities, only the media did. There are still 10 games more games to go, expectations are high now. We have to live up to them.

"The slogan for us is, attack, attack, attack," Warne said in his typical manner.

One of the hallmarks of Jaipur's performances so far has been how Warne has constantly thought on his feet, juggled his bowlers around, kept fielders on their toes and shuffled the batting order. He considers all this intrinsic to success in this tournament and says that other teams have started to take a cue from him.

"Most teams have, more or less, the same plans and tactics. We are a bit ahead of the rest of the pack with our field placings and the way we have bowled. I don't think many teams have done well to anticipate our plans. That is why I feel some of them are now copying us. We are always coming up with new stuff, which is what you have to do in this format," he explained.

Warne also felt the thrashing Jaipur received in their opening game against Delhi has, in a way, helped their cause as other teams started taking them lightly and paid the price.