Bhatia thanks mentor Dravid for encouragement
Having played a key part in Rajasthan Royals' opening win in the seventh edition of IPL, all-rounder Rajat Bhatia says he is relishing the prospect of shouldering a "more responsible" role with his new franchise.
"I have to shoulder more responsibility. I want to make sure that besides my bowling, whenever I get a chance to bat, I utilise it and contribute substantially. That's what I tried to do today and I got that boundary at a crucial juncture. These are the small things which if you keep doing, the match will be in your favour," Bhatia told IPL's official website after the win.
With his modest off-cutters and slower ones, Bhatia first dismissed two most dangerous batsmen of Sunrisers Hyderabad -- Shikhar Dhawan (38) and David Warner (32) -– to help Rajasthan Royals restrict the opponents to a modest 133.
Later, when the Royals were faltering in their chase against the Sunrisers' incredibly strong bowling attack, Bhatia clobbered Dale Steyn over midwicket to score a crucial boundary in the 19th over.
"Rahul (Dravid) bhai told me from the beginning that I have to play the role of the senior and experienced player in this team. I have played all the seasons of the IPL and know some stuff about the Indian players," Bhatia said.
"He told me it was my responsibility to guide the young Indian players in the team and I am trying to do my best in passing on to them whatever I know. As for me, I keep learning from Rahul bhai – he is a great man – and I am sure at the end of this IPL, I will be a different player."
Image: Rajat Bhatia in action
'hikhar's wicket was very important for us'
Bhatia rated Sunrisers skipper Dhawan's wicket as his prized scalp last night.
"To be very honest, Shikhar's wicket was very important for us. I got him once during his first few games with the Sunrisers and I was really pleased to get him today," the all-rounder from Delhi said.
As a cricketer Bhatia knows his limitations and he was candid enough to admit the fact.
"To be honest, I know I am not someone who can bowl at 140 or even 130 kph. So, in order to play to my strength, I ensure that the batsman has to use his power to score boundaries rather than me giving him the pace to hit me," he said.
"Rather than bowling to the batsman, I bowl to the situation. I try to assess what the batsman wants at that time and try not to give it to him. I try to give him the ball he doesn't want in order to block the shot he wants to play.
That's what I have been doing and I have dismissed some big batsmen. That gives me further confidence to continue with my plan."
Image: Shikhar Dhawan