We have moved on as a team, says RR skipper Dravid
Jaipur: The shadow of IPL spot-fixing might still be looming large but Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid feels his team has "moved on" and has "no hangovers" from last edition which saw S Sreesanth being arrested and subsequently handed life ban by the BCCI.
"I don`t think we have a hangover from last season. We have put that behind us at the end of the last season. There had been some issues (disciplinary action against Sreesanth & co) that has been resolved. But for the 15 members and support staff in our squad, we have resolved it much before," Dravid told mediapersons after beating Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in the CLT20 group opener last night.
"We spoke about it (spot-fixing episode) when we came here. We discussed and acknowledged that it (spot-fixing) had happened and we decided to move on. This team has moved on and now we would like to put up a good show for our fans," Dravid said.
Talking about the match, Dravid lauded his players for showing a lot of professionalism during the run-chase.
"There was calmness and professionalism during the chase. Our batsmen didn`t panic and got the job done. Mumbai Indians are a good side and it`s a terrific way to start the tournament."
Not having any specialist spinner in the starting XI was an "instinctive decision", according to Dravid.
"The wicket was under cover due to rain and was a bit damp. So I took a last-minute decision to go with an all-pace attack. Normally, it is nice to have spinning option but then I had Ashok (Menaria) in the side. Ashok has been bowling well in recent times and I knew that I can get a couple of overs out of him."
The legendary batsman was all praise for his bowlers, especially Himachal Pradesh`s Vikramjeet Malik, who provided Royals with a couple of breakthroughs at the start.
"Vikram bowled well upfront while Jimmy Faulkner was brilliant as usual. Kevon (Cooper) had an off-day but that can happen," the skipper said.
For a side that doesn`t have big stars, Dravid insisted that he tells his boys to do things a bit a differently.
"We have to clever and smart with our tactics. We realize that we don`t have big names, so we need to try and do things differently. We need to surprise our opponents with our tactics. There will be days when Watto (Shane Watson) will win us a game or two but more often than not, we need to perform as a team."
Dravid was full of praise for Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA)`s long-time curator Taposh Chatterjee, who has been in charge of preparing the wickets at Sawai Man Singh Stadium.
"Taposh has produced a beauty. It`s a great cricketing wicket. It has got some pace and bounce which our batsmen like. If you look at our team, we don`t have too many six-hitters. We have batsmen who love to play proper cricketing shots. The wicket suited their style of play."
Dravid was effusive in his praise for young 18-year-old Sanju Samson whose 54 proved to be an important contribution in the final outcome of the match.
"Sanju was terrific. He faced four international bowlers that included Mitchell Johnson, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Nathan Coultier-Nile. He (Sanju) is only 18 and is learning and growing with time. For a kid like him, you don`t readily get a chance to face a Mitchell Johnson every
"I liked the calmness and control showed by Sanju and Rahane. Stuart also played well under pressure in the end."
Dravid is also happy about the fact that unlike in IPL, in this tournament, the travelling is much less.
"It`s nice to unpack your suitcases and put the shirts on the hanger. As an international cricketer, you learn to live out of suitcases. But here we are playing all the matches at Sawai Man Singh Stadium in familiar environment. There aren`t any flights and one feels familiar even in the hotel room."
For someone with more than 24,000 international runs across two formats, Dravid feels that it is important to help youngsters "express themselves."
"The idea is to create an environment to let the youngsters express themselves. Sometimes it works but there will be times it won`t work."
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