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'Pitch, batsmen let us down'

cricket Updated: Apr 19, 2011 00:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The Eden Gardens pitch and his own batsmen came in for heavy criticism from Shane Warne after the Rajasthan Royals lost to Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.

The Australian legend did not blame the pitch for his team's dismal 81 all out but said it wasn't suitable for T20 cricket. "It's not an excuse for the way we batted, but I thought it was probably a 130-run wicket. It wasn't a kind of pitch where one could play shots, like you expect in this format," said Warne after the match.

"They (Knight Riders) got 60-odd in six overs against us (in Jaipur) on Friday. Today we had five slips at times and also had fielders at bat-pad. There were plenty of gaps in the field but it still took them 14 overs to get 82. That shows how ordinary the surface was, the ball was coming very slowly. It was like air was taken out of the ball."

There were harsh words for his batsmen as well, who failed to apply themselves and handed the Knight a great chance to better their net run rate. "The wicket didn't help but our guys played some dumb shots. It was like kids against men at a moment, which was disgusting," said Warne.

"We were feeling great as a team before this match and our preparation had been wonderful. You expect an odd bad day in a tournament like this, but the way we performed was not acceptable. It was an embarrassment and a blow to our pride."

There was a warning too. "There are a few in our team who have been around for two-three years. They must make the chances count when they get them because cricket is a performance game. If you don't perform, you don't play. It's time these guys delivered."

Warne said the team missed Rahul Dravid, who couldn't play because of a torn quadriceps muscle. "He's a world class player in our line-up and that's why we have bought him from the auctions. He brings in tremendous value with his experience and ability. Of course we would have played him if he was fit."