Owais Shah takes blame for Royals' loss
Rajasthan Royals batsman Owais Shah was disappointed with the way he got out to Lasith Malinga and said he made a mistake by not playing out the Mumbai Indians pace spearhead.
"I think I made a mistake by not playing out Lasith Malinga who is dangerous. I didn't have to, perhaps, try to play some shots against him, should have stuck around, seen Malinga off and, maybe, attack the other bowlers," Shah said after his side's 27-run defeat at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
"Lasith Malinga is a very good bowler and bowled well. He has a very lethal yorker. I made a mistake and I am quite happy to put my hand up and say next time I would try and not make the mistake," admitted the England batsman who hit 76 off 42 balls.
Shah looked to have taken the fight into the enemy camp with his fine counter-attack after his side was down two for seven, in partnership with Ajinkya Rahane (40) before he was yorked by Malinga off the first ball of the 15th over with the Royals 64 runs short of the stiff target of 198.The Pakistan-born Shah's dismissal helped MI stage a fight back, which finally ended in the Royals' first defeat in three games.
Image: Owais Shah
Photographs: Philip Brown / Reuters
'I feel like having a proper run in an IPL side now'
He had a laugh when it was suggested he had batted better than West Indian Kieron Pollard had done for MI earlier in the game, and said he would say he had batted well only if he had taken his team across the finish line.
"Look, at the end of the day you need to win, my efforts went in vain. I tried my best to try and win the game, get us as close as possible. The best players perhaps take you all the way and win the game.
"Something I was missing from my innings was the finishing touch. I was happy with the way I struck the ball, but for me to say I played really well, I got to have finished the game and win the game for my team and then I would consider I had played well."
Shah is happy that he was finally getting an extended run for his new franchise in the Twenty20 tournament.
"I feel like having a proper run in a (IPL) side now, finally. I did not really play for Delhi when I was with Delhi (Daredevils). I got four games for Kolkata Knight Riders. I played three games for my country last year.
"I thank my captain, coach, vice captain for showing the faith in batting me at no. 4. I got a few runs. I have been in that situation lesser times for the 20-20 teams that I have played over the years. I guess you should use your experience, try and keep up with the rate and do the basics right."
Image: Owais Shah in KKR colours
'Need to have self-belief to be successful at top-level sport'
Shah, who struck five sixes and as many fours in his knock, however, pointed out he was not a Pollard or a Chris Gayle to belt the leather off the ball.
"I am not a big hitter of the ball. I am not a Pollard or a Gayle, I don't want to be one of those, just want to win the game for my team," he said candidly.
"You need to have self-belief, especially when they perform well they get into the zone a lot sooner than others. If you don't have self-belief you are going to struggle at top-level sport. I will keep doing what works for me when I chase a target," he added.
He praised the track prepared for the game.
"The wicket played beautifully, beautiful batting conditions (were on offer) which is shown by the fact that nearly 400 runs were scored tonight. It shows it's a good pitch."
Shah, who informed he was available for the entire duration of the tournament as a temporary replacement, said it was too early to say whether the team has gelled nicely.
"(It was) just the third game for Rajasthan Royals. I think the team is coming along nicely. True reflection as an answer to that question will come when games 10, 11 and 12 come, when we would have been together for long, and would need to win in a pressure situation. We have been together for only a week."We have a very good and calm captain which is very nice," he said about Rahul Dravid.
Image: Owais Shah
Photographs: Hamish Blair / Getty Images
Owais praises Rahane, Rohit
Shah, who has played county cricket for Essex and Middlesex, hailed young batsmen Ajinkya Rahane, his Royals' teammate, and MI's Rohit Sharma as supremely talented players.
"(Am) lucky to play with Ajinkya Rahane, he's a phenomenal talent. His 98 in the first game was a wonderful knock. (I have) watched Rohit Sharma play some great knocks over the years.
"It's fair enough having talent, but it's all about performing on the big stage. I think time will tell when they both get a good run in the Indian team as to who the top player is.
"They are both beautiful to watch, very talented and very good fielders. They got to get a chance at the top level to see who has got the mental toughness to perform for India."
About Royals' teammate Kevan Cooper, a revelation in the tournament, he said it was too early to put him on the same pedestal with his Trinidadian compatriot Pollard.
"He (Cooper) is a very talented guy. I played (for South African franchise Cape Cobras) against him (representing Trinidad and Tobago) in the Champions T20 League (game) in Chennai. He's a very canny bowler and a guy who can smash the ball out of the park, a very good Twenty20 player.
"But I guess he needs to put in a lot more winning performances to be in the same bracket as Kieron Pollard, but a very talented guy and the future of West Indies cricket is very good."
Image: Owais Shah
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe / Reuters