Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: With a royal battle expected when the Rajasthan Royals clash with Royal Challengers in the DLF-IPL tournament at the Chinnsawamy stadium here on Saturday, the home team captain Rahul Dravid said, “the disappointment of the opening game is behind us.

“The win at Mumbai was a real morale booster. We are getting into a better rhythm with every match and with our foreign players (Dale Steyn, Nathan Bracken, Abdur Razzak) and Anil Kumble soon coming into the side, we will keep improving. Misbah-ul-Haq will need to be fitted into the team and we may not disturb a winning combination. However the final XI will only be announced before the commencement of the match,” he added.

Dravid was also quite pleased with the timely knocks and fruitful partnerships that paved the way for the win against the Mumbai Indians.

Sporting pitch

On the pitch, Rahul said that it was a sporting wicket with a little something in it for the bowlers as well. “The ball would come onto the bat making it an even contest. Both teams have good bowlers who could exploit the conditions,” he added.

The Rajasthan Royals had a light work out at the KSCA stadium and a couple of the stars including Shane Warne skipped the session. The press conference was addressed by Anant Vyas, Media Manager, Darren Berry, Director of Coaching and Dinesh Salunkhe, the leg spinner who was one of the winners of the talent search competition last year.

Berry said that the team had a bit of difficulty herding the players together initially but the team has gelled well since the first match. The win at Hyderabad was an outstanding one and Warne excelled with the bat to turn it around for the Jaipur team.

Infectious enthusiasm

Berry credited Warne with bringing about an infectious enthusiasm in the side and he was very helpful to the young Indian Players. Salunkhe too recounted how he was urged into getting Jayawardene out and how much he had learnt from the master craftsman of leg spin.

Expect edge-of-the-seat stuff on Saturday.

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