After leading Rajasthan Royals to a tense win over Sunrisers Hyderabad,skipper Rahul Dravid spoke about how the last week felt like a passage of mourning,on how his side dealt with it,on having to play an all-pace attack in the Eliminator and how winning this tournament would be like a fairy tale. Excerpts.
On the week past
I would not lie that it was a very tough phase for us. It was a blow to the team. Its something I have never experienced. Its like a bereavement in some ways. You feel real sadness,disappointment and anger. There are so many emotions. The next day,we were playing Sunrisers in Hyderabad and everyone was in a daze. It was a difficult week for all of us.
On dealing with it
We spent two-three days in Jaipur and there were some really open,honest conversations among the players,among the coaching staff. A lot of emotions were shared. In some ways,it was amazing for me to see the way they came out and expressed their feelings. Paddy (Upton) slowly handled this campaign. We knew we had four days and we gave a couple of days to let go of emotions.
On Uptons role
Paddy and his team,the way they managed the last four days was great. Paddy has been really useful. Not only in the last week but the whole tournament. I was always very keen on working with Paddy,working with him on a one-on-one basis. We are glad that hes been with us this year. The boys have really enjoyed Paddys company. So many guys came up to me and said he is fantastic. Paddy has played a great role in creating a good team environment.
On the Eliminator
It was an important win regardless of what has happened. Its the knock-out stage of the tournament,you lose and you pack your bags and go home. There are no second chances in these types of games. Its nice to get over the line.
On all-pace attack
It would sound like a joke if I tell you the truth. We were short of spinners for various reasons. We had Praveen Tambe injured as well; in fact we did not have anybody to choose from. It was not an ideal combination for this track but the game shows our resilience. We knew an ideal scenario should have been playing a spinner but with injury to Praveen,we did not have that option also.
On Mumbai indians
Mumbai Indians are never easy,they are a very good side. They have all the big stars. Theres nothing to lose (for us). So go out there,have some fun and see what happens. If we win the tournament it will be a fairy tale.