Warne proud of his bowlers
Rajasthan Royals coach and captain Shane Warne hailed his bowlers for the inaugural Indian Premier League triumph in the finals of which his team beat the Chennai Super Kings by three wickets at the D Y Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
"Our main strength was that we always went in with at least five front line bowlers in every game. It's our bowlers who won us the tournament. We always had enough options in our bowling," Warne said at the post-match press conference.
"In batting, Swapnil (Asnodkar), (Shane) Watson and Yusuf (Pathan) have been just outstanding," he said.
Warne, however, refused to equate the triumph with some other notable victories in his illustrious international career.
"I won't place this victory in the same league as World Cup triumph or Ashes win or beating India in India. But this is definitely a very satisfying win.
"We were the underdogs right from the start but we have played an entertaining brand of cricket," he said.
Asked how long he expected himself to hang around, Warne said, "I'll be back as long as my body holds up and I'm wanted by the franchisee boss."
Although disappointed to finish second best in the IPL, Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni refused to blame the defeat on anyone but rue not having enough bowling options.
"I don't want to pinpoint any particular player. I agree that we made a few mistakes in the field but the main problem was that we had just five bowlers and even if any one of them had a bad day, we had to persist with him," a dejected Dhoni said in the post-match press conference.
In fact, lack of option forced Dhoni to toss the ball to Lakshmipathy Balaji in the last over, even though the pacer had already been taken to the cleaners by the Rajasthan batsmen.
Only eight runs were needed from that over and though Balaji tried his best, Rajasthan batsmen Sohail Tanvir and Warne overwhelmed the target in the final delivery.
Though Dhoni refused to blame anyone for the defeat, Suresh Raina dropping Yusuf Pathan, while the batsman was on 13, probably cost them the match.
Pathan, the eventual Man of the Match, mis-hit Muttiah Muralitharan to offer a skier which Raina grassed and the all-rounder went on to hit 56 off just 39 balls to snatch the match.
Pathan was also lucky to get another life when, batting on 33, he offered a difficult caught-and-bowled chance to Manpreet Gony who dropped the catch.
On the decision to send Chamara Kapugedera ahead of Subramaniam Badrinath, Dhoni said, "The decision was taken by the coach, because I was batting at that time. But I don't think there was anything wrong. He's a capable cricket and it only did not click today."
He also praised Pathan for his superb batting and said, "He is such a player that if he sticks around for a while, he would definitely score runs at fast rate. We had a plan but it does not work at times. Besides, playing two games in as many days was tough, but we knew this will happen."