Mumbai, May 14: Rajasthan Royals' (RR) mentor Rahul Dravid insisted today that his team has not played poor cricket in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL 8) barring one game against Royal Challengers Bangalore when they were restricted to a paltry score of 130.
"We started well by winning five games on the trot. Then two of our games got rained out and we lost two games (against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings). We have not played badly barring the one game against RCB when we made 130. The others were lost narrowly and or via the super over (against Kings XI Punjab)," said Dravid, at the announcement of Royals' new social initiative, 'Bat for the Girl Child', here.
Royals are currently placed fourth on the IPL table with 14 points and a game against defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in hand at the Brabourne Stadium here on May 16, which is a must-win game for the Jaipur franchise.
Dravid said he and his teammates would be rooting for a win for Mumbai Indians today against KKR. "We will support Mumbai Indians today," said the former India captain and batting stalwart.
Dravid was full of praise for the incredible shot-making of AB de Villiers that he exhibited for RCB against MI on Sunday last while making 133 not out in just 59 balls.
'Could not imagine playing like De Villiers'
"Even in best of form, I could not imagine to play that way. He and Brendon McCullum are showing the way ahead for the youngsters. The game is going ahead. Viv Richards (West Indies great) first showed how to attack and then (Sanath) Jayasuriya and (Romesh) Kaluwitharana (of Sri Lanka) showed how to bat in the first 15 overs of an ODI," he said.
Calling for more balance between the bat and the ball, Dravid supported the idea of allowing bowlers to deliver two bouncers per over even in T20 games.
"Currently, if a bowler bowls a bouncer off the first ball of an over, the batsmen can attack him as they know he cannot bowl another bouncer in that over. Even in T20s two bouncers per over should be allowed. The boundary length should also be increased to redress the balance," said Dravid.
Citing Virender Sehwag's example, Dravid said that the out-of-favour opener played in the same manner across all formats. "Viru plays the same way in all formats," Dravid said.
Adapting to different formats
Dravid said players like De Villiers and New Zealand skipper McCullum possess the gift of adapting their game in varied formats as per the needs.
"In Test cricket, the wicket conditions are different. There are situations when you have to bat to save the game. Both De Villiers and Brendon McCullum are able to adapt their game to the different formats which is what great players do," he explained.
Asked whether he would prefer an Indian or a foreigner to become the new coach of the national team following the exit of Zimbabwean Duncan Fletcher, Dravid said the person's nationality did not matter.
"The world is becoming more professional with passage of time. Indians go abroad to take up coaching jobs and similarly foreign nationals come to India for the same reason. Whoever is the most suitable for the job should be given the chance (to coach India)," he said.