Rajasthan News

Shane Watson may replace Dravid in Rajasthan Royals

by RajasthanDirect
Oct 08, 2013

The presence of Rajasthan Royals coach Paddy Upton at the post match captain’s press conference was perhaps a sign of things to come. Skipper Rahul Dravid had played in his final competitive game 30 minutes ago, and it was time to pass on the baton.

“He will be missed,” asserted Upton. “Rahul is someone very senior, but he doesn’t show it.

He is really on the same level (with everyone else) and that is why some of the young players like Samson and the lesser known guys like Tambe and Shukla really perform.

“Rahul is very approachable and has been integral in setting up that environment. He epitomises the Rajasthan Royals’ spirit.

“He is not someone who would like a token role, but is very actively involved in anything he does. And we would definitely want him in some capacity, continuing to nurture the youngsters and bond the team.” The sprightly, young Royals played fairy tale cricket in the Champions League T20. Eventually, they did finish as runnersup but carried away a plenty of positives.

At 41, Tambe is challenging the young guns to deliver, Samson has been the find of the year, pacers Rahul Shukla and Vikramjeet Malik delivered when called upon, while Shane Watson and Ajinkya Rahane are going strong.

Upton credited it to the team environment, built under Dravid.

“What is special about the Royals is the team spirit and the approach on how we really include the young players in our fold. We ask for their opinion, we get them to talk in the team meetings,” he said.

Asked if there was anyone who could take up Dravid’s place in the coming years, he was quick to name Australian all-rounder Watson as an option.

“Somebody like Shane Watson… he has been there from the beginning and places the team’s needs ahead of his own. He is incredibly good with the younger players and is someone who bridges the gaps in terms of the diversity of players we have.

“Maybe there will be some other candidates too, but he is the obvious one,” Upton pointed out.

Sunday’s final against MI saw RR deploy unusual tactics yet again. In pursuit of MI’s total of 202, Dravid batted at no. 8 but Upton said it was all “according to the plan”.

“By the 15th over, everything was going on magnificently. Had either Watson, Binny, Yagnik or Cooper just batted with Rahane for another 15-18 balls, I think it would be Rohit Sharma sitting here giving the ‘I am sorry, pity we lost speech’.” “Dravid said it doesn’t suit me, scoring at 10/11 per over and the others were better equipped to do so. It is a testimony to the player like him who still at his place, and in his last game… puts the team ahead of himself.”

src: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/131008/sports-cricket/article/shane-watson-may-lead-rajasthan-royals

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