Rajasthan Royals captain Ajinkya Rahane believes his side can qualify for the play-offs even after a six-wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League in Kolkata on Tuesday night.
After a great start by Jos Buttler and Rahul Tripathi, Rajasthan were bundled out for 142, which was chased down by KKR in 18 overs last night.
Rajasthan are fourth in the standings with 12 points from 13 games and will next face a a resurgent Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 19. With Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings having booked two of the four play-off spots, the rest of the IPL teams, except Delhi Daredevils, are in contention to for the other two spots.
“We still have to believe in ourselves. Anything can happen in cricket, it’s a funny game. We have to learn from our mistakes. We were too positive with our batting tonight. But, we have to learn as a team,” Rahane said at the post-match news conference last night.
Rahane admitted that they have not batted well this season as they should have posted something around 175-180 against KKR, especially after Buttler and Tripathi’s quick start.
“After the magnificent start given by Rahul Tripathi and Jos Buttler, we did not string any partnerships. It’s not about any individual. We lost because we did not apply ourselves in the middle and we needed to get a partnership going. When you get a start like that you have to back yourself,” he said.
“We lost because of our batting. Even in the tournament we did not bat that well except for Buttler whose consistency was good to see. So many things the boys can learn from him. We thought 175-180 was a par score on this wicket.”
But Buttler and his English team-mate, Stokes, will not be available to serve the Royals for the rest of the tournament as they’ll have to head back home for a Test series against Pakistan.
Rahane said Rajasthan have good overseas players to replace the Englishmen.
“Definitely, we will miss Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. I am really happy for Jos. Because, as a player, it’s everyone’s dream to represent their country in the longer format. We have got 3-4 overseas players with us, they are equally good.
“I’m sure the boys, especially the overseas players, will step up in the last league game against RCB,” he said.