Jaipur: Hyderabad captain Akshath Reddy feels that despite being restricted to 160 for 5 on day two, Hyderabad have the potential to put up a spirited show on Monday and overhaul Rajasthan's first innings total of 384. Speaking to Cricketnext after the match, he said, "Hyderabad bat deep right till the No.10 so I think if the remaining batsmen dig in and demonstrate sound application, we can definitely leapfrog Rajasthan. This is a very crucial match for both the teams as any side whichs lose the match or concede the lead will be relegated to the group C next year. We'll give our best shot and try to emerge as the winners."
He stated that it was bit disappointing to lose five wickets in the last session of the day after they got off to a solid start. "Sumant and I had got a good start. We added 91 runs for the first wicket and later lost the plot. It is really disappointing but credit to Rajasthan bowlers who consistently bowled in the right areas. But we have ourselves to blame for the collapse. A couple of batsmen played rash shots and perished. The pitch was damp on the first day but now it is a very good surface and both batsmen and bowlers have something in it for them."
When quizzed about his team's bowling performance, he admitted that they had conceded 50-odd more runs than what they would have liked. "I think our bowlers bowled well most of the time except a few lowly patches. Rajasthan batsmen cashed in and piled up a good total. Now our focus is to get as many runs as possible tomorrow."
Dishant Yagnik, who scored a vital 51 on Sunday to guide his team to 384, said that the partnership with Pankaj Singh was instrumental in the hosts getting close to 400 in the first innings. "Pankaj and I have known each other for so long. We played U-19 and U-22 cricket together so there's a deep-rooted understanding and comfort level. He and I have been part of many such partnetships in the past. I never hold him back. If the ball is in his slot, he goes for the shots. Same goes for me me as well. I am an attacking batsman by nature and like to dominate the opposition on the field to push them on the backfoot. Today also we decided to play our natural game. Pankaj whacked two massive sixes and I cracked few boundaries which forced Hyderabad team to spread the field. That was our plan and then we pinched singles and doubles easily."
Talking about Rajasthan's shabby catching on Sunday, he defended his team-mates and said that it was just an aberration. "Our boys usually have a safe pair of of hands. Today was just an off day. These things happen once in a while when you play cricket for a long time. Also, the pitch is slightly damp and bounce is low so a couple of catches didn't actually carry to the fielders. One of the catches was very low. I am not giving any excuse and I admit that we should have done better in the catching department."
He maintained that Rajasthan are eying an outright victory over Hyderabad to finish the season on a bright note. "Of course, we play to win the matches. Our aim is to take the remaining five wickets quickly tomorrow morning and restrict Hyderabad under 200 so that we can enforce follow-on. But if they save the follow-on and get to a respectable total, we'll have to think about many factors which comes into play."