Jos Buttler credited team mentor, Shane Warne’s influence on the spin bowlers after Rajasthan Royals choked Kings XI Punjab to win the game by 15 runs in Jaipur.
The Rajasthan Royals spinners dismantled the Kings XI Punjab’s top order, laying the foundation for the much-needed win.
Defending a modest 159, the Royals derailed the Kings XI innings pretty early on. K Gowtham dismissed Chris Gayle (1) and Ravichandran Ashwin (0) before Jofra Archer accounted for Karun Nair to leave the visitors reeling at 19 for three. The bowlers continued to strike at regular intervals, as Kings XI found themselves six down for 81.
KL Rahul’s unbeaten 95 kept them in the hunt, but they eventually got restricted to 143 for seven.
The Royals spinners played their part to perfection. Gowtham conceded just 12 runs off his three overs and took two wickets. Ish Sodhi picked up one for 14 off his four overs. Speaking in the post-match press conference, Buttler said,
“Warne has been influential for the whole side. He’s obviously a very forward-thinking and likes aggressive cricket, always taking the positive option. He is a big influence on the leg-spin bowlers. Tactically, it’s fantastic speaking to him.”
“We had a fantastic start. We know early wickets in T20s are very crucial. The boys bowled fantastically well. Sodhi bowled a brilliant spell of leg spin bowling. I’m delighted for Ish to bowl with such fantastic control. He looked like he’ll take a wicket every ball. He put a lot of pressure on the opposition,” he added.
Early in the game, Buttler’s third consecutive fifty propelled the Royals to 158 for eight. At 117 for two in the 15th over, the Royals were looking set for a big total.
However, Kings XI Punjab pulled things back and restricted them to 158/8. Although Rajasthan Royals defended the total, Buttler admitted he was surprised with the nature of the pitch.
“After the first six overs, I thought it was a 180-190 pitch. It sort of changed very quickly and started to slow up. I thought 160-170 was going to be a very good score. All the pitches here have been quite similar,” Buttler said.