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Botha has silenced Doubting Thomases

Today's game against the Rajasthan Royals should be a spectacle, not to mention a test of strength for both teams. The Royals have made a great start with the legendary Warne still going strong, writes Jacques Kallis.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2011 01:57 IST
Jacques Kallis

Today's game against the Rajasthan Royals should be a spectacle, not to mention a test of strength for both teams. The Royals have made a great start with the legendary Warne still going strong. But it is not just Shane who has produced match-winning performances in the first two games.

My teammate and South Africa vice-captain Johan Botha is quite a surprise package in the RR team.

A lot of eyebrows were raised when the Royals bid $950,000 at the auction but he is far more of a complete cricketer than people realise. A lot of them people said he was batting too high at No. 7 in the World Cup, but he has looked comfortable at that spot during the IPL and has scored vital runs in both games.

I understand Shane Watson will also be available although that might just be Warney having a bit of fun on Twitter! If and when he does take his place, the Royals will be an even more formidable proposition.

Watson must be the form batsman in the world at the moment and the way he struck the ball in the recent series against Bangladesh was awesome. Most openers are happy with 15 sixes in a season, never mind an innings.

It is still very early days, and today's result will not decide the semifinal line up, but it is important nonetheless to lay down a marker against the strong teams early on — you never know when the memory of victory will be important at the business end of the tournament.

It will be great to be up against Rahul Dravid after our three years with the Royal Challengers.

The sceptics sarcastically suggested that we formed the ideal opening pair for Test cricket rather than T20, but I would like to think that we showed last season that good technique allows you to play successfully in all formats without resorting to slogging. I am confident we can do more of it same at our new franchises.

It was an honour to be named in Wisden¹s Test team of the year along with my countryman Dale Steyn, but it was no surprise.

It was appropriate that were five Indians in the XI. They were the top-ranked team and deservedly so. Hawkeye