Chennai:Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne considers Indian Premier League as the toughest Twenty20 event in the world and said his side paid the price for lack of intensity in fielding and bowling against Channai Super Kings here on Saturday.
"We are playing in IPL where the intensity is high more than the other games in any part of the world. And, if your fielding is not good and catching poor then you have to be blamed," he said after his side's 23-run defeat.
"It is a flat wicket and a tiny ground. I knew the total would be little over 200 and 210 was par. Our fielding was quite bad. We dropped a lot of catches especially of Albie Morkel. Bowling at the death was also a concern for us. I think the difference probably was up in fielding and catching. We missed catches at crucial times," he said.
"I could have had Morkel on couple of times and things would have been different then. It is of course credit to him to have hit the balls too. It is just the nature of the game and we are going to get smashed. On a wicket like this everyone is getting smashed," he added.
He, however, praised his batsmen for a spirited run chase, especially Naman Ojha who made an unbeaten 55-ball 94.
"It was hell of a chase but our batsmen responded well enough. To chase 246 for a win and losing the match by 20 odd runs is hell of a chase. Ojha did exceptionally well and more so as he has to keep the wicket. He showed tremendous stamina," said the Australian.
Warne said his side will have to address fielding and bowling woes if they want to qualify for the semifinals.
"Something we need to address our fielding and bowling. We have three more matches coming at home. We showed a lot of character and spirit but the whole thing was not enough as we lost two games in a row. Winning the next match is crucial against Deccan Charges. We do not want to get in to a scenario in which you lose one and then pushed to win all other for a semifinal berth," he said.
Warne praised Chennai opener Murali Vijay and pacer Doug Bollinger for their performances on Saturday.
"Vijay looks to be a talented and level headed cricketer. Good luck to him. His was a special innings and played good cricketing shots and He played good cricketing shots too. Probably credit should also go to Stephen Fleming for having coached a player like Vijay. He has obviously done his hard work.
"Doug is as much as Vijay played. His spell of four overs probably was the best. Wile others went for 10s or plus in a over, Doug was rather economical giving only two or so. Soon after arriving here and bowling at this kind of heat, I think it is credit to him. He executed his plans well," he said.
Bolinger, on his part, expressed happiness over the great start that he has made in the IPL.
"Good fun. Good start for my debut IPL season. It wasn't tough adjusting to the conditions because I've played for Australia on this ground, so it wasn't tough adjusting to the conditions. Every country is different and that is what makes cricket interesting. I like to do this in every match," he said.
"T20 is a funny game. They (Rajasthan) were going at a good rate when Shane Watson was batting. I felt 220 was a par score. We defended well. We kept the basics correct. I just went out there and did what I wanted to do," the Australian said.
Praising his team-mate Vijay, Bollinger said, "He backed his talent and that was a great innings, building the platform needed for the win. Vijay changed the match and rightfully he adjudged the man of the match."