Zee Media Bureau/ Suyash Srivastava
New Delhi: Despite being a formidable side, Rajasthan Royals` experiments in the crucial stages of the Indian Premier League, probably cost them the play-offs berth. One such experiment was the exclusion of Rajat Bhatia for their last league game against the Mumbai Indians.
To qualify for the playoffs, Mumbai needed to beat Rajasthan by at least 42 runs if they batted first. While chasing, they needed to achieve the target in 14 overs.
In either case, it was clear that Mumbai had to smash the ball from the word go, and thus Rajasthan needed someone who could make their job tougher by taking the pace off the ball. Nobody does it better than Bhatia.
The 34-year-old doesn`t have the intimidating pace, but Bhatia is someone who has flummoxed the best of batsmen with his slower ones.
Corey Anderson was in a brutal mood at the Wankhede stadium on Sunday night, and Shane Watson fell short of options when the New Zealander ripped apart their bowling line-up. Even Watson would have missed Bhatia`s presence, as the medium-pacer had often dismissed set batsmen through his deceiving pace.
While Mumbai Indians got their combination right, Rajasthan would be wondering whether Bhatia`s inclusion would have seen them through to the play-offs.