Jaipur: Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid lauded young Ajinkya Rahane for his brilliant 98-run knock that set the platform for his side’s comfortable win over Kings XI Punjab in their opening match.
Rahul said: “Ajinkya was fantastic today… After being left out of the Indian team recently, it is great to see him coming out hungry.”
The following are excerpts
Rahul Dravid: The pitch surprised all of us. Even, I would have probably fielded if I had won the toss. I thought that the pitch would improve as the game progresses. But it did slow up a bit. However, the guys executed the plans to perfection.
Ajinkya was fantastic today… He is a very young and exciting batsman and is the face of the Indian cricket. After being left out of the Indian team recently and it is great to see him coming out hungry. He has worked really hard in the last week and it was lovely to see him batting like that.
Kevon Cooper was simply superb. We can all see what he can do. He was a very important selection for us. We gave it a lot of thought when we bought him at the auction. He started off the tournament well and hopefully he can keep it going.
Adam Gilchrist: We were simply outplayed tonight. I got the toss wrong… The pitch was on the slower side. I expected that when the dew factor comes in, the pitch will improve and the ball will come on to the bat easily. But nothing of that sort happened.
Rahane played a beautiful innings. We conceded 20-30 runs more than what I thought we should have conceded.
There were some positives, which we will take home. But we need to work hard for our victories and execute our plans well. But all credit to Rajasthan.
It’s been 12 months since I last played a match… It feels good to return to action. I have also struck a six and hit some good shots. It feels fine.
Ajinkya Rahane: We played few practice games here and I was batting well there also. So, I wanted to continue in the same vein here. The ball was coming on to the bat well, which made things easier for me.
I completely believe in myself… If you are a good batsman, you will play well irrespective of the format.