The Hyderabad boys may have been eliminated but they can hold their heads high after their spirited performances throughout this year’s tournament. The aspect that let them down was their batting, for they never seemed to have enough runs on the board, and it is that which they have to look to strengthen for next year.
Far too many of their young players were found wanting not just in technique, but also temperament, and in the high pressure situations caved in. If only they can learn from Dale Steyn, who was simply magnificent as he strove with every sinew to bowl his team into the semis. Ishant Sharma also bowled well in patches but will have to work on his wrist position which is skewing balls onto the batsman’s pads and allowing them to score through the sparse on side field.
Rajasthan looked very determined and wanted to show that the unfortunate happenings did not affect them. They too have surprised many with the manner in which they have played this year and, hearteningly, the unsung players have made a huge contribution.
Dravid and Watson are the experienced guys along with Brad Hodge, but in Faulkner, Rahane, Binny, Samson and Cooper, they have some really talented youngsters who absorbed pressure well and reacted positively to it. That is always a good sign, for it shows that they are ready to battle it out. Their fielding also was outstanding and they took some superb catches too.
Against Mumbai today, they will need their experienced guys to show them the way for Mumbai will be smarting from their loss to Chennai and Rajasthan could be the ones to suffer. If Faulkner and Cooper don’t bowl well, then the Mumbai batting lineup should have a gala time.
The manner in which Dwayne Smith batted, it looked as if Mumbai would have run Chennai close, but after his and Sharma's wicket, there was simply too much for Pollard to do. Karthik also is not batting as fluently as he did at the start of the tournament and so the momentum is not maintained.
Their bowling against Chennai was also disappointing, even withstanding the magnificent batting of Mike Hussey and Suresh Raina who simply slaughtered their bowlers. Rarely have we seen such total dominance by two batsmen as was seen in that game. Mumbai’s fifth bowling option is a problem, and if Johnson does not get the ball to swing in to the right-handers, he is not as effective and concedes runs.
It should be a good contest. Mumbai seem to pack too many big guns compared to Rajasthan, but Rajasthan have shown throughout the tournament that they are excellent at guerrilla warfare.
Professional Management Group