A resurging Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) were on a roll, winning three consecutive games in the ongoing season of Indian Premier League (IPL) and staging a comeback of sorts. However, their winning-streak was interrupted by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune, where they were beaten by 7 wickets with 11 balls to spare. Robin Uthappa played a sensational knock of 47-ball 87 after a dropped catch. Skipper Gautam Gambhir also scored 46-ball 62, as together the duo set up KKR’s win in the chase of 183. RPS’ Ajinkya Rahane gave credit to the KKR openers for their stunning win. Full Cricket Scorecard, Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), IPL 2017, Match 30 at Pune
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Rahane said, “Credit goes to their batsmen. Ya, that (dropped catches) happens on the field. No one does it intentionally. It’s part and parcel of the game. I thought they batted really well, especially Robin after that dropped catch, he literally dominated our bowlers. So, they played really well, better than us. After we batted, we thought 180 odd runs were a good total on this wicket. But because of the dew, it was slightly difficult for the bowlers.
Speaking of his own batting, Rahane said he was feeling good about his batting at the moment. “As I mentioned even last night in Mumbai, I’m batting really well, feeling really well at the moment. It’s about converting those 40s into 70s and 80s. That’s what I’m looking for. Unfortunately got out on 46 today and 38 in Mumbai, but feeling really well at the moment as a batsman. It’s important for top 2-3 batsmen to score 70-80 in this format so that team can do well,” he said. Full Cricket Updates, Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), IPL 2017, Match 30 at Pune
“I know what my strengths are and I back my strengths. Initially I was struggling a bit with the timing, but I decided to play a long inning here. After 10 or 11 overs I will take my chances and I did that. Between the 9th and 10th over we felt that 170-180 will be a good score on this wicket. Personally, that’s my strength. I like to take my time initially and then capitalise on the start later on,” Rahane further added.
Talking about MS Dhoni, Rahane said the team is happy to have him back in form and expressed confidence of a good show from Dhoni’s bat in the coming games. “See he’s been fantastic. I think the other night against Sunrisers, the way he batted. He was so cool and calm under pressure. Today it was the perfect situation for him to play his natural game because we [Rahane and Steven Smith] laid the foundation really well. It was a fantastic knock by him, 10 balls 28-30 odd runs. It is good to have him back in form and I am sure he will do well in the coming games,” Rahane quipped.
When asked about his thoughts on his opening partner and young batsman Rahul Tripathi, who has had a terrific season so far, Rahane said, “Yes he has been batting really well. It becomes a bit easier for me when he plays his shots at the other end. My role is to give strike to him and set a good foundation. In T20, I feel if you could get 45-50 runs in first 6 overs, then other batsmen can come and strike the ball really well.”