Jaydev Unadkat, on Friday (May 18), admitted that Rajasthan Royals
(RR) would miss services of their star batsman Jos Buttler. The Royals will be playing their biggest match of the season on Saturday (May 19) and a loss in the game would end their season itself.
The Ajinkya Rahane-led side is up against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their last league game. And losing Buttler for the do-or-die clash was the last thing they would have wanted.
Buttler along with his compatriot Ben Stokes has left for England. England have named the duo in the 12-member squad for the first Test against Pakistan which is beginning on May 24. Prior to the departure, Buttler was in sensational form.
Buttler had been an absolute revelation for the Royals since being promoted as an opener. In six games, he scored five consecutive fifties and missed the last one by 11 runs.
It all began when Royals needed an improbable 151 in 12 overs against Delhi Daredevils (DD). Till then, Buttler was struggling to perform as a middle-order batsman.
However, he was asked to open in that game and it turned out to be a masterstroke. In five games, he passed 50 each time. The last two knocks were unbeaten 90s, coming in wins against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI).
In those five innings, he has amassed 389 runs in 236 balls at a conventional strike rate of 164.83. It was Buttler’s form which revived Royals’ fortunes in the tournament.
“(Jos) Butler was our best batsmen till now and his absence will surely be felt. However, the players who will replace him and Stokes will be motivated to justify their selection and it will be unfair to put extra pressure on them ahead of such a crucial encounter,” Unadkat revealed during a pre-game presser.
The 27-year-old Jos Buttler played his last game for the Royals against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) where he scored 39.
“The good thing about Rajasthan Royals is that we are not short of options. There are some international players who are extremely talented and this will be a great opportunity for them to shine,” Unadkat added.
Royals will have their task cut out against Royal Challengers who are on a three-match winning run. As usual, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli have been the reason behind their late resurgence.
Unadkat confirmed that the Royals have made special plannings to contain the dangerous duo.
“Virat (Kohli) and AB (De Villers) are playing brilliantly at the moment and we have special strategies in place for both of them. The problem with RR this season has been the inconsistency. We have been good in patches and we cannot afford to slip up in tomorrow’s game,” he said.
Unadkat also described RCB as a ‘ruthless’ team and said that Kohli’s aggressive brand of captaincy is a huge asset for them. At the same time, he made it clear that the Royals are ready to counterattack.
“RCB are a ruthless side just like their captain. They like to play fearless cricket and their batting unit is one of the best in the tournament. But, we will be ready to counter-attack and I believe that playing the last group stage encounter at our home ground will be a huge advantage for us,” he said.