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'Shane Watson is very similar to Rahul bhai as captain'

Last updated on: April 30, 2014 15:51 IST

'Shane Watson is very similar to Rahul bhai as captain'

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Ajinkya Rahane rose to prominence while playing under Rahul Dravid for Rajasthan Royals. The right-handed Mumbai batsman feels current skipper Shane Watson is as "cool and calm-headed" as his predecessor. 

"He (Watson) has been wonderful. In so many ways he is very similar to Rahulbhai as captain.

- Scorecard

"Like him, Shane too is very calm in the middle and makes his decisions with a cool head," said Rahane, after playing a key role in Rajasthan's thrilling Super Over win against Kolkata Knight Riders in Tuesday's IPL-7 match in Abu Dhabi. 

"They both have the ability to hold their nerve in pressure situations and take their own time in making the right decisions."

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Image: Shane Watson
Photographs: BCCI

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Rahane smashed 72 off 59 balls

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Rahane smashed 72 off 59 balls to help Rajasthan post 152 for five before their bowlers kept their cool at the death to restrict Kolkata to 152 for eight in 20 overs, thereby taking the match to the Super Over. 

- Photos from the match

In the Super Over, KKR, batting first, scored 11 off James Faulkner, with Manish Pandey hitting a six.

In reply, Steven Smith showed his cricketing acumen with a soft tap off the last delivery from Sunil Narine towards extra-cover to get two runs that sealed the match for Rajasthan. 

However, had it not been for James Faulkner's splendid penultimate over, Rajasthan would have ended up on the losing side.

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Image: Ajinkya Rahane plays a shot
Photographs: BCCI

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'Faulkner actually brought us back in the game'

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Faulkner (3-11 in two overs) picked the wickets of Suryakumar Yadav (31), Robin Uthappa (0) and R Vinay Kumar (0) in the 19th over, with Kolkata needing just 16 off the last two overs. 

"What a game! Absolutely nail-biting. I am elated with the team's performance. Everybody held their nerve in tense conditions. The credit goes to the bowlers for the way they pulled the game in our favour in the end overs," Rahane was quoted as saying by the IPL's official website.

"I am very happy for all the bowlers, particularly James Faulkner. He actually brought us back in the game with that three-wicket over. He absolutely deserves his Man of the Match award, which is a great birthday present for him," Rahane said.

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Image: Rajasthan captain Shane Watson congratulates James Faulkner
Photographs: BCCI

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'I love added responsibilities as they make me work hard'

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Rahane said he is now relishing the role of senior batsman in the Rajasthan Royals set-up, but credited Dravid for his transformation as a cricketer. 

"I do feel I have some more responsibility on the batting front now that Rahulbhai is not playing. I love added responsibilities, as they make me work hard, and in turn, help me improve as a cricketer," the Mumbai lad said. 

Asked whether he tried to change his approach as a batsman in the ongoing IPL, Rahane said: "No. Thanks to Rahulbhai, it hasn't.

"At the beginning of the season he told me specifically not to change my game just because my opening partner is different. He said, 'Don't try to be someone else. Be yourself and bat like yourself'."


Image: Ajinkya Rahane hits a shot
Photographs: BCCI

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