Shane Warne on Saturday shrugged off suggestion that Shane Watson is being wasted in the Rajasthan Royals middle order.
The big-hitting right-hander, who has enjoyed a prolific year at the top of the Australian order, was deployed at first drop in Friday’s loss to the Kings XI Punjab.
Meanwhile, Ross Taylor, who bats at three or four in the New Zealand order, stepped to the crease at five in Mohali as Rajasthan slumped to their third successive defeat of the tournament.
The Royals’ decision to use Rahul Dravid and Swapnil Asnodkar as openers has left many fans and pundits demanding change, but Saturday’s encounter against Kochi will see the hosts use same combination in Jaipur, according to Warne.
“We want Watson to face as many balls as possible, but with the make-up of our side, it makes sense to have Watson and then Taylor next in,” he said.
Since his arrival to the Royals fold in the wake of Australia’s ODI series win over Bangladesh in Dhaka, Watson has racked up ineffective score of 11, 22 and 24. Taylor’s last two knocks have yielded six and nought.
“We need our big batsmen to score some runs,” added Warne.
Rajasthan conceded a hefty 195 for seven – the highest team score of the 2011 IPL thus far – against the Kings XI Punjab, with Warne left to demand better from his side, particularly across the opening throes of Saturday’s clash against the Tuskers.
“Our bowling in the first six overs has been a problem. Hopefully we will get these things right in the coming games. Every game is a pressure game. What we need to work on is our performance in the first six overs with the ball,” he concluded. Cricket365