Warne celebrates best win of career
Rajasthan Royals captain and coach Shane Warne has described the last-ball win against Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League as one of the best victories in his 20-year cricketing career.
Warne also lavished praise on youngsters Niraj Patel (40 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (23 not out) for keeping their cool to clinch the improbable win 5-wicket win in the last over.
"It was a sensational win and I would rate it as one of the best games of my 20-year-long cricketing career," Warne said after the match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Monday night.
Asked how Rajasthan Royals had managed to win thrillers on so many occasions, the 38-year-old captain said it all came down to self belief while performing under pressure situations.
"In such close matches it comes down to self belief. It all is about how you handle the pressure and keep your cool. I am proud of the manner in which Ravindra Jadeja and Neeraj Patel handled pressure.
"The six by Jadeja over cover was unbelievable. It speaks volumes about the talent this young man possesses. Neeraj Patel too has shown again that he can be more than handful in such situations," he said.
Asked when seasoned Mumbai Indians couldn't handle the pressure, how "kids" like Jadeja and Patel were able to pull off the sensational win, Warne, who retired from international cricket last year, said "we give confidence to youngsters".
"One of our teams slogan is 'find the way' and also 'play your role'. I am proud that my team has doing so. But the new match winners like Neeraj Patel has also given us headache," Warne said.
"And don't forget about Sohail Tanvir's fine effort. It is difficult to squeeze in everybody. It will be tough for us during the selections whom to leave out."
On his role as captain and coach, Warne reiterated his stance.
"I believe coaches are needed only in the developmental phase. They are not required at international level. I believe IPL is international cricket," said the Australian leg-spinner, who had never been at ease with former Australian coach John Buchanan.
Warne took a dig at the Mumbai Indian coach Lal Chand Rajput's comment that "luck was not on Mumbai's side".
"If an international bowler like (Dilhara) Fernando bowls a wide under pressure in last over then how it is unlucky. It has nothing to do with luck. You should have the capacity to deliver under pressure. He took too much time to bowl his last over. He might have lost his rhythm in the process," he said.
Rajput lamented the fact that luck was not on their side.
"I think our fielding let us down today. They were all close matches which could have gone either way like spin of a coin. The pitch too was double paced. There could have been a better wicket for 20-20 game," Rajput said.
Rajput dispelled the notion that their batting revolved around captain Sachin Tendulkar.
"Others too have performed at times. The questions are being raised just because we have lost," he said.
Warne said he did not find scheduling of the IPL up to the mark and felt it needed improvement next year.
"Teams qualifying for semifinals after retaining top two slots should be given advantage. Or what use it is to qualify for semifinals remaining at top if one has to play away from home ground.
"Playing in your own backyard is a huge advantage. Home team knows conditions better and support of thousands of spectators also is very important," said Warne as Rajasthan Royal have not lost a single IPL encounter at home turf.
"If somehow Mumbai sneaks in the last four they will have this advantage whereas others will miss it. The IPL will have to rectify this next year. We all are learning in first edition of IPL. The franchises, players and the administrators too should improve upon next year."