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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shane Warne puts up a brave front despite the absence of Smith and Mascarenhas

Rajasthan Royals will be without opening batsman Graeme Smith (broken finger) and all- rounder Dmitri Mascarenhas (twisted ankle) going into their game against hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore at theMChinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday.
It leaves Shane Warne with the headache of picking right replacements. “They (Smith and Mascarenhas) are two important players. Their leadership in the team will be missed,” Warne said on the eve of the encounter.

However, as always the Rajasthan Royals skipper preferred to look at the positive side of the predicament he finds himself in. “There are 10 international players in our team to choose from. We have Adam Voges, Johan Botha and Damien Martyn joining us. We look at conditions and study the opposition before choosing our players,” Warne said.

The obvious lack of firepower will put the onus of scoring big runs on the carefree Yusuf Pathan. Warne, wisely, didn’t want to add pressure on his batting powerhouse. When asked if too much hinges on Pathan’s form, Warne said, “We have Paras Dogra, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala among others coming up with a good show. We have a very strong middle order. Dogra has played well in two tough situations. But Yusuf is one guy I would love to have in my team rather than in the opposition.”

Warne also played down his own lack of form in the early part of the tournament. “Even if you bowl not-a-bad ball you can still get whacked. That’s the nature of this game.”

Bowlers have a lot of room for innovation, Warne added. “From a captain’s point of view we have come up with different field settings. Other teams have copied us. We are looking
to attack.”

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