West Indian cricket great Sir Viv Richards’ latest comment might have irked the Rajasthan Royals (RR) a little bit, as he said: “Royals definitely thanked their luck” . However, the bottom line is Rajasthan Royals have qualified for the playoffs and tonight will take on Kolkata Knight Riders in a bid to stake their claims to play the eventual IPL final against CSK on Sunday.
Although, Richards further said that young Rajasthan team’s hard work later paid off largely because of Job Buttler’s five consecutive half-centuries and some excellent display from the young brigade likes of Shreyas Gopal, K Gowtham, Rahul Tripathi and Ish Sodhi.
Richards wrote in his column for Times of India, “Rajasthan Royals definitely thanked their luck that allowed them to qualify for the eliminator. Rajasthan had only retained Steve Smith during the auction and after unforeseen circumstances, he was unable to play, making Rajasthan think on their feet. Being mentored by the legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne, along with Ajinkya Rahane who stepped up to take on the captain’s responsibility, the boys in blue were ready for a fight ahead and their hard work paid off in the end.”
He added, “The young RR players who stepped up and put their best foot forward, gave the team and the fans that extra spark and the motivation they needed. Both K Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal were fabulous. They have been the Royals' magic along with Jos Buttler's top-notch knocks and not to forget Sanju Samson’s contribution in the early stages.”
Commenting on KKR, Richards believes that both RR and Kolkata are at the same boat as both have not performed too well, but says Dinesh Karthik has “improved” as captain, but still need to find their mojo.
The West Indian signed off by saying, “This season has not been flawless for the Kolkata Knight Riders as well, but more about scrapping and getting the job done until they found their mojo again. Although Dinesh Karthik’s leadership was not very fluid to start off, he has slowly become more definitive and the man himself has grown as a thinking captain.”