With a win against the Delhi Daredevils in their seventh home game, the Rahul Dravid-led side remain unbeaten at their home turf.
The RR opener took the team across the line through an unbeaten 45-ball 63 while chasing 155 on Tuesday evening. After a 108-run opening stand with his captain, Rahane was involved in a 47-run unbroken partnership with Shane Watson as they cruised to victory in Jaipur.
After receiving the Man-of-the-Match award, Rahane spoke to iplt20.com about the win and his team.
Excerpts from the interview:
After the match against Pune Warriors India you said you would have liked to finish the game and you did that today. Tells us how you worked and how it feels to finish the game?
Obviously anyone would like to stay and finish the game and win the match for the team. It definitely feels good to do that.
And I feel that once again our bowlers did a good job. We were one bowler short, Stuart Binny could bowl only two overs, even then they did a very good job.
What was it like batting out there and what did Rahul Dravid tell you?
When Rahul bhai is batting at one end, the batsman at the other end does not need to think too much. If you follow what he says, his instructions, then you will definitely be successful. He just told me to stay positive and play my natural game.
What was the plan while chasing?
The target was 155, so the plan was that the faster we chase it down the better because we didn’t want to take the match to the last over. In the last two-three games it was happening that the match was stretching into the last over. The plan was to try and finish the game by the 17th–18th over.
Was the run-rate a factor at the back of your mind with the points table so closely tied?
Frankly speaking I wasn’t really thinking about that a lot. When Shane Watson came in to bat and the plan was to stay positive. During the second strategic break the plan was that if we can win the match with two overs left it will be good for us.
All your three big knocks have contributed to wins and at a crucial phase in the tournament. Tell us about the knocks?
It is important to perform when the team needs it. There are still four matches to go in the league phase so we will look to take forward the positives from this game into the games ahead. In the next match I have to start from scratch again, take a fresh start.
Does this performance add to your confidence?
Yes, definitely! When you help the team win, it boosts your confidence.
Do you feel that the team is peaking at the right time?
Yes, and I feel that the atmosphere in our team is very good and the way Rahul bhai has conducted the team, he has done it brilliantly and the way we have gelled and play as a team is what is important. It matters a lot in T20 that you play as a unit. The game is a team game and you can’t depend on individuals and as a team we are playing well.
With 16 points you are close to making it to the qualifiers what is the plan moving forward?
We will take it one match at a time and try to win each game.
Tell us about the role Paddy Upton has played in the team’s success?
Paddy Upton has been very good for the team and his contribution has helped. Credit goes to him and the management. The way he conducts our practice sessions and other activities is very important because it is vital to gel well as team and perform as a unit.