Jaipur hold the aces against B’lore
Jaipur are going through a purple patch and a win on Saturday against Bangalore would more-or-less guarantee them a place in the semifinal, reports G Krishnan.Updated: May 17, 2008, 01:27 IST
Kept under close watch for security reasons, following the Jaipur blasts for two nights in the national capital, Rahul Dravid’s men arrived here on Friday morning, ahead of Saturday’s match against Jaipur.
“We could not go out of our hotel in Delhi as it was under high alert,” said a Bangalore team member. The players have been confined to the hotel rooms, first in Chandigarh because of the prying media, who wanted Rahul Dravid’s bytes on Vijay Mallya’s outburst and then in New Delhi, where the team was waiting for security officer Shaun Dippenaar’s approval to proceed to Jaipur.
Concerned about playing in Jaipur, the players --- most of them accompanied by their family members --- worked out in the gym, had a bit of swimming sessions and did everything other than playing cricket to stay fit within the confines of their hotel in Delhi.
“I have told my wife, who knows Jaipur pretty well, not to go out at all,” said a player. “She said she had been to the same shopping areas where the explosions took place. I told her not to venture out of the hotel in the two days that we are going to be there.”
Even though the players are disappointed with the results, they are doing their best to remain focused. “Losing seven out of nine games is not nice, but we all are focused on cricket and the spirit is good,” said Dravid, whose team was outclassed by Mohali in its last outing.
“We have just got to keep our chin up and play some better cricket in the remaining five matches,” the Bangalore skipper added.
The Bangalore team has been drubbed as a good ‘Test’ team not fit for T20 by many and the players too seemed to have accepted the tag. For the beleaguered outfit, now it’s just a matter of playing for pride and prove a point or two to critics and the team owner. A fresh approach will be what Dravid would be looking for in the first of their five remaining games.
Having won seven of their nine games, Jaipur, fresh from a vacation in Goa, are going through a purple patch and a win on Saturday would more-or-less guarantee them a place in the semifinal. The two Shanes --- Warne and Watson --- have played pivotal roles in the team’s outstanding run and the local players too chipped in with useful contributions. If they fire again against a struggling Bangalore team, Saturday’s match could be theirs.