Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Watson was more practical than critical when assessing his team's performance after a seven-run loss to Chennai Super Kings in Indian Premier League on Wednesday. While saying his team were exceptional in bowling, they could definitely improve on the batting. Both teams had won one match before the outing at Dubai. Watson did not shy away from his responsibilities, saying he also took blame for the loss. (Match report | Highlights | Pics)
After electing to bowl first, Rajasthan Royals had restricted the Chennai Super Kings to just 140/6 with the help of some great bowling from Rajat Bhatia and Pravin Tambe. However, when Rajasthan came out to bat, they panicked and could not get any partnership going as Ravindra Jadeja (4/36) kept striking at regular intervals. Although a couple of huge sixes from Bhatia and Dhawal Kulkarni made the match interesting for Rajasthan Royals in the end, they were never really in it once their innings started. (Schedule | Points Table)
"No doubt that it was a great bowling performance to restrict Chennai to 140. We were very specific in what we set out to do especially in the bowling. We executed things really well and I am really proud of how we improved on our performance against Kings XI Punjab in that aspect," said Watson in a post-match press conference. (Related watch: Royals gifted win to CSK, says Venkatesh Prasad)
"However, our batting performance was extremely disappointing. I certainly take a huge amount of blame for that performance as the most experienced player and leader. All we needed was one good partnership through the middle and unfortunately that didn't happen," he added.
Watson also applauded the Royals' fielders for their efforts in the game and personally acknowledged the good bowling performances.
"I thought our fielding performance was very good. There were a couple of things that didn't go exactly to plan but that can happen with the chaos towards the back end. Tim Southee came in for his first performance for Rajasthan and even though he's just 25, he bowled beautifully. James Faulkner bowled a brilliant last over and (Dhawal) Kulkarni improved his performance compared (to) the last game," said the Australian all-rounder.
However, Watson admitted that Rajasthan batsmen fell victim to some poor shot selection and that turned the game in Chennai Super Kings' favour.
"We had to assess the situation better in our batting. Unfortunately some of the decisions we made with the bat weren't the right ones at that time. We hope to learn from our mistakes, which is what we always try to do at Rajasthan Royals. It's a big learning curve for us," he said.
On making a return to bowling in the IPL, Watson said he did not want to experiment with a sore back and that is why just bowled one over in the game against Chennai.
"I bowled one over. There is some stiffness in my back which occasionally flares up. It's never really been a big issue but if I push it, I could miss out on batting too," said Watson.