Not easy to get Dilshan's replacement: Vettori

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Daniel Vettori said it would be difficult to find the replacement for Tillakaratne Dilshan, who played his last match in the IPL on Sunday.

Updated: May 09, 2011 00:40 IST
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Bangalore: Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Daniel Vettori said it would be difficult to find the replacement for Tillakaratne Dilshan, who played his last match in the IPL on Sunday.

Dilshan will return to Sri Lanka to lead the national side against England.

Dilshan, who was recently appointed as Sri Lanka's captain for all three formats, featured in his last game of the tournament against Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Dilshan struck an unbeaten half-century to make it a memorable exit.

"Yes, Dilshan has played his last game. It's difficult (to find a new opening pair). That partnership (Gayle and Dilshan) which we put together certainly has enabled us to win these last five games. We have got a couple of options and we got to make a decision pretty quickly.

"When you look at the foreign players there is Thomas Pommersbach and Rilee Rousouw or look at a guy like Saurabh Tiwary to come up the order. He hasn't had much batting, so it might be a good opportunity for him to get some balls under his belt which will be beneficial to us," Vettori told reporters at the post-match press conference.

Dilshan was keen to spend some time in England before the warm up against Middlesex at Lord's on May 14.

Vettori was full of praise for Chris Gayle, who blazed his way to 16-ball 44 to set up the easy win.

"It's all him out there. I sit back and just enjoy, I know it's more enjoyable because he is on my side. But I think that's why people love Twenty20 cricket. Gayle, what he did tonight, 37 runs off one over, I am sure it's been never done before. It's amazing knock," he said.

With five wins in a row, Bangalore are now third in the points table but the skipper is targeting a top-two finish. "We want to finish as high as possible in the points table because there is certainly some advantage if you finish first or second. We know we have to play well in the remaining four games to try and get there. I think one win is irrelevant now, we have to try and finish as high as possible," noted the Kiwi.

The left-arm spinner had a word of praise for seamer Sreenath Arvind, who returned good figures of two for 20. "Wicket was a lot drier than it was the other night. Arvind has been bowling amazingly in the last two or three games, so he is just continuing on his good form. The wicket certainly helped us but we were able to take control of those conditions.

"I think taking wickets in this format has such bearing on run-rate and dictate the terms. At times Zaheer and Mithun were very good. Chris did his job and pretty pleased to dismiss a good team to 120 odd runs," he added.

Meanwhile, Kochi captain Mahela Jayawardene was understandably disappointed with his team's lame effort. The defeat today has severely dented their chances of reaching the play-off stage.

After a rather bright start, the Tuskers ended up with a sub-par 125 for nine and failed to defend the modest total. "It was a disappointing effort today. We wanted to put a good score on the board once we elected to bat. On this wicket, something like 160 or so would have been a good total to defend, but we ended up with a small total.

"We knew Gayle and Dilshan would come hard at us and yeah, it was a disappointing effort from us today," he said. On Prasanth Parameswaran, who was hit by Gayle for 37 runs in one over, Jayawardene said, "This is Twenty20 and it happens. More experienced bowlers have been hit before him. The other day he dismissed Virender Sehwag but today he couldn't repeat that. He held himself well and he will be fine."

Jayawardene also denied rumours that pacer S Sreesanth had protested against his omission from the playing eleven. "Dropping Sree was a tactical move as we thought that the pitch will aid spin and we played Ramesh Powar. Sree took it well when I told him before the game and please, we just had a discussion. If you call this antics then what will you call antics? Don't blow this up. He has done well for us and nothing happened," the skipper clarified.

Jayawardene said it was a fine effort on the field and with the ball by the Bangalore side.

"We had a good start but we lost wickets and they applied pressure. It was a combination of good bowling and cheap dismissals and we had that run-out (Parthiv Patel) and all that affected us. This was not a 200-run pitch but we played bad cricket and RCB was the better team clearly," he said. "We are still alive and we need to win the next three games but we will take it one match at a time," he added.

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