Owais Shah was unreserved in his appreciation of Ajinkya Rahane in the aftermath of Rajasthan Royals' victory over RCB here on Sunday, calling himself lucky to have been able to watch the 23-year-old's hundred from up close. “He's a special talent; there's a calmness about him which shows he's always in control,” Shah said of Rahane.

“He plays proper cricket shots; he's not a slogger at all. He plays nice and straight. He plays the ball very late and times it beautifully. I was very lucky to have been batting with him.”

Good start

The Karachi-born Shah disagreed that the opening partnership had bogged the team down, believing that the first pair had laid an excellent foundation in the face of some difficult bowling.

“Credit should go to the opposition bowlers for keeping us in check in the first 10 overs. Vettori and Muralitharan bowled extremely well and it was quite tough for the batsmen. By the time I came in, it was nicely set up for me to launch the assault,” he said.

RCB skipper Daniel Vettori, meanwhile, admitted that the lack of tight bowling towards the close of the innings was hurting the team.

“It has probably hit us in every game. Going for 100 runs in the last five-six overs is not desirable. It's a definite problem and we need to work pretty hard on it.

“We have a short turnover before the next game and we've got to find a solution,” he said.

Defending Arvind

The absence of a fifth bowler was a continuing problem Vettori said, adding that S. Arvind (3-0-48-0) should not be judged too harshly because he hadn't played in a long time.

“Yes, a couple of bowlers went for a lot of runs but it (lack of a fifth bowler) has been the root of our problems.

“Arvind was playing his first game and it was a high pressure situation to come back into. It's never easy.”

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