IPL 2018: Shane Warne, Ajinkya Rahane a case of ‘opposites attract’
Rajasthan Royals spinner K Gowtham is confident the aggressive Australian mentor and calm skipper can guide the team in IPL 2018.cricket Updated: Apr 14, 2018 20:32 IST
The late captaincy change for Rajasthan Royals has not affected the planning of the 2008 Indian Premier League (IPL) champions, off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham said on Saturday.
Rajasthan Royals go into a tough third match of IPL 2018 against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday, after two underwhelming batting efforts.
The focus will be on how Aussie spin legend Shane Warne, the mentor, and skipper Ajinkya Rahane team up to counter Virat Kohli and Co. When Warne was roped in, it was to bolster a team he led and coached to victory in the inaugural IPL after its two-year ban.
The spin legend was due to link up with compatriot Steve Smith and they were seen as natural allies. However, Smith’s one-year ban for ball-tampering on the South Africa Test tour forced a change. Ajinkya Rahane was named skipper, but it is yet to be seen what impact Warne and the India batsman have together.
Karnataka spinner Gowtham, 29, is confident the team would click under them.
FIRE AND ICE
“There is a saying opposites always attract. Basically they are two different personalities. Shane Warne is a very aggressive kind of person and Jinks is someone who is always steady. He enjoys his thing, likes to take it as it comes. That is the combination, beauty of this team.
“We have all the ingredients. One is an aggressor, and the other a person who can sail the ship throughout. It’s been a good mix, a good thing. Warne is a legend, he was the guy who started it all for RR as captain and coach.”
Rajasthan Royals will have their task cut out in a game where spinners are expected to have a say, especially due to the 4 pm start.
RR lost to 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by nine wickets and beat Delhi Daredevils in a rain-truncated game. Gowtham said RR players watched RCB’s win over Kings XI Punjab on Friday and had their tactics in place.
“We did get to watch the game, wanted to see what the wicket was doing. We did see when the spinners were bowling there was a little bit of grip. It’s an added advantage.”
Gowtham, a regular for Karnataka in all formats, though has had a roller-coaster run in the last two seasons. In IPL 2017, he didn’t get a game with Mumbai Indians. Last year, he was dropped from the India A squad after ditching Duleep Trophy pretending to be ill to play in the Karnataka Premier League T20 league.
This year in the IPL, Gowtham bowled one over each in power play in both games. “This role I am doing for my state team (Karnataka) as well. Whenever needed to contain or get wickets up front as a spinner, I was the one, so it is nothing too different. We all know RCB bat deep. I am looking to bowl to the best in the business. It’s a learning curve for me. I’d like to test myself.”